Main verb tone

From The Toaq Wiki
This page was written for Toaq Gamma. It describes a feature that did not end up being included in the latest version of Toaq, Toaq Delta.

The main verb tone or F-tone was a hypothetical new tone that would mark the main verb of a clause or sentence.

This would make falling tone purely a "post-determiner and serial-verb-making tone."

It is marked in this article with an "m above" diacritic. For example: Jaͫq chỏ jí ní sỉo da.

Introducing such a tone would have a few benefits:

  1. No more mandatory da or la fences between sentences, as this tone itself marks (the verb of) a new sentence. Dỉo da, nủaq da can just be Dıͫo, nuͫaq.
  2. It allows for coordinating clauses without a need for na, for example: gî ní na ru jỏe súqgî ní ru joͫe súq.
  3. The falling tone falling tone becomes less common.
  4. It works nicely in the syntax: this tone is the "F" head of an "FP" (hence its second name).

The cost, of course, is "one more tone". It would be balanced out by merging adverbial tones (see Full Arguments).

Proposed reallocation

In August 2022 Hoemaı proposed a reallocation of the tones that includes a main verb tone.

In summary:

  • Adverbials get flat tone.
  • Variables get rising tone (as before).
  • Serial tails get falling tone (as before).
  • Relative clauses get rising-falling tone.
  • Main verbs get mid-falling tone, with falling-rising tone (obsolete 3rd tone) as an optional allotone.
  • Content clauses get falling creaky tone or rising-creaky tone (they can merge to a single creaky tone).

Eventual fate

In December 2022, Toaq Delta was released, which reduced the number of tones even further, but did not include a main verb tone.

  • Gamma la has been replaced by ꝡa. Officially, da and ꝡa "fences" between sentences are still mandatory today.
  • Gamma na has been removed. We now have tone marking on connectives.
  • The frequency of the falling tone is addressed by tone sandhi and some other tonal reshuffling.
  • What was analyzed as "FP" (focus phrase) in Gamma is now analyzed as "𝑣P" (little v phrase).