Olivier Simon wrote: > Sellamat Cheng! > > On Sat, 1 Nov 2008 09:16:40 +1100, Cheng-Zhong Su > <[log in to unmask]> wrote: > >>> No, I meant the encounter of the final consonant of a word (which >>> can be a grammatical ending) with the first consonant of the >>> following word. Yes, there are many homophones in French, but I >>> don't think it works as in Chinese. In Mandarin, for example, >>> "ma" can mean mother, horse, insult or hemp, but all of them are >>> distinguished by the use of pitches. >>> >> It is not pitches but tone. >> > I thought that the English words "tone" and "pitch" had the same > meaning. In French, we only have "ton". > [snip] I doubt that any pair of different words in English have the same meaning! :-) In linguistics the correct word is "tone", just as in physics there is a distinction between "speed" and "velocity", which in normal usage mean roughly the same. I think that "tone" includes how something is said, so it's not just the pitch (frequency) but also the change in pitch (high, low, rising, falling).