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TECH: Pitch Accent
> Nick Nicholas has proposed to me that high pitch (a la Japanese or
> Serbo-Croatian) should be tolerated in Lojban as an alternative to
> primary stress. Nora points out that there's no a priori reason
> why it should be high rather than low pitch that means "accented".
Cross-linguistically, hi is more marked than lo. There must be reasons
for that, but they're not germane here.
I'm not sure it's a good idea though. It's okay for people who are
happy with stress, since I, at least, hear the accented syllable in
Japanese and in Serbo-Croat as stressed. But how would a pitch-
accent lojbanist cope with someone who says selBRIdi amphibrachically
stresswise, but with hi-lo-hi pitch? There could be all sorts of
We should be careful to consider things from the hearer's perspective.
As I said on the list during the summer (this was in lojban, so it
may be noone read it), Nick's voiceless stops all sounded voiced to
me (because he doesn't aspirate them), and I was constantly mishearing
him in consequence. (Moreover, I then started overcompensating, hearing
his voiced stops as voiceless.)