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Linguistic Focus


Unlike, Pashto or Urdu, Torwali is a Tonal Language. This means that pitch plays a significant role in distinguishing lexical meaning within the language. In some cases, pitch is the only acoustic element that distinguishes one word from another. 

Torwali Tones:

Based on the research of Lunsford using PRAAT and Speech Analyzer, Torwali has four contrastive tone patterns: High (H), Low (L), Rising (LH) and Falling (HL). 

Written Example of Tone:

The word [ʐatʰ] has four different meanings only distinguishable by their various tones.

[ʐatʰ] produced with the Falling Tone (HL) means Morning.

[ʐatʰ] produced with the Rising Tone (LH) means Night.

[ʐatʰ] produced with the High Tone means Blood (singular) - as in one drop.

[ʐatʰ] produced with the Low Tone means Blood (plural) - as in a pool of blood. 


Audio Example of Tone: 
[bær]: "fat or thick"
[bær]: "cash bribe"
Sound Files provided by the Digital Dictionaries of South Asia