Akan Teleteaching Course


Annex 5: Economic tone-marking

Most Akan examples and texts in this course show reduced (economic) tone marking. The conventions for economic tone marking are as follows:

a) Low tones are generally unmarked (but see d below).

b) The first High tone in a word is marked with an acute accent.

c) High tones following immediately a marked High tone are left unmarked (unless the High tone that follows is downstepped, see g).

d) The first Low tone following a High tone is marked with a grave accent.

e) Low tones following immediately a marked Low tone is left unmarked.

f) A High tone following a marked or unmarked Low tone is marked with an acute accent.

g) A downstepped High tone occuring within a word - always immediately following a marked or unmarked High tone - is marked with an acute accent.

h) Downstep occuring between two seperately written words is marked with an apostrophy before the downstepped first syllable of the second word.
 

In short:

  • Initial tone: Only High is marked.
  • Non-initial tones: Only tone change is marked.
  • Any high tone mark following another High tone mark within the same word without an intervening Low tone is interpreted as Downstep.


Note on tone recognition: Sentence-final tone lowering must not be confounded with downstep. Only "structural downstep" is marked.
 
Full notation Economic notation  Rule
ba ba a
okunu okunu b, c
paya paya d
wonk wonk d, f
monkasa monkasa b, d, f, e
me s!ka me ska g
me !kunu me 'kunu b, c, h


  --> Compare Full tone-marking

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