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Encyclopedia > Toda language
Toda
Spoken in: India 
Region: Nilgiri Hills
Total speakers: 600
Genetic classification: Dravidian
 Southern
  Tamil-Kannada
   Tamil-Kodagu
    Toda-Kota
     Toda
Language codes
ISO 639-1: none
ISO 639-2: dra
ISO/DIS 639-3: tcx 

Toda is a Dravidian language well known for its many fricatives and trills. It is spoken by the Toda people, a population of about one thousand who live in the Nilgiri Hills of southern India. Map of The Nilgiris district The Nilgiris or Blue Mountains, often called The Queen of Hills are a range of mountains and a district in the south-Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. ... Current distribution of Human Language Families Most languages are known to belong to language families. ... The Dravidian family of languages includes approximately 26 languages that are mainly spoken in southern India and Sri Lanka, as well as certain areas in Pakistan, Nepal, and eastern and central India. ... This is a sub-classification of the Dravidian family of languages. ... Tamil and Kannada are two dravidian langauages. ... ISO 639-1 is the first part of the ISO 639 international-standard language-code family. ... ISO 639-2:1998 Codes for the representation of names of languages — Part 2: Alpha-3 code Twenty-two of the languages have two three-letter codes: a code for bibliographic use (ISO 639-2/B) a code for terminological use (ISO 639-2/T). ... ISO 639-3 is in process of development as an international standard for language codes. ... The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is a system of phonetic notation devised by linguists to accurately and uniquely represent each of the wide variety of sounds (phones or phonemes) used in spoken human language. ... Phonetics (from the Greek word φωνή, phone = sound/voice) is the study of sounds (voice). ... Technical note: Due to technical limitations, some web browsers may not display some special characters in this article. ... The Dravidian family of languages includes approximately 26 languages that are mainly spoken in southern India and Sri Lanka, as well as certain areas in Pakistan, Nepal, and eastern and central India. ... Fricatives (or spirants) are consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together. ... In phonetics, a trill is a consonantal sound produced by vibrations between the articulator and the place of articulation. ... The Toda people are a small pastoral tribe of Southern India, found only on the Nilgiri hills. ... Map of The Nilgiris district The Nilgiris or Blue Mountains, often called The Queen of Hills are a range of mountains and a district in the south-Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. ...

Contents


Phonemic inventory

Vowels

For a Dravidian language, Toda's sixteen vowels is an unusually large number. There are eight vowel qualities, each of which may occur long or short. There is little difference in quality between the long and short vowels, except for /e/, which occurs as [e] when short and as [æː] when long.

i • y
ɨ
u
e
ɵ
o
æː
ɑ

Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1000x700, 5 KB) Blank vowel trapezoid, for use with the International Phonetic Alphabet. ...

Consonants

Toda has an unusually large number of fricatives and trills. Its seven places of articulation are the most for any Dravidian language. (The apical coronals are marginally postalveolar, and are sometimes judged to be alveolar instead.) The voiceless laterals are true fricatives, not voiceless approximants; the retroflex is highly unusual among the world's languages. Places of articulation (passive & active): 1. ... An apical consonant is a phone produced by obstructing the air passage with the apex of the tongue (i. ... Coronal consonants are articulated with the flexible front part of the tongue. ... Postalveolar (or palato-alveolar) consonants are consonants articulated with the tip of the tongue between the alveolar ridge (the place of articulation for alveolar consonants) and the palate (the place of articulation for palatal consonants). ... Alveolar consonants are articulated with the tongue against or close to the superior alveolar ridge, which is called that because it contains the alveoli (the sockets) of the superior teeth. ... Laterals are L-like consonants pronounced with an occlusion made somewhere along the axis of the tongue, while air from the lungs escapes at one side or both sides of the tongue. ... Approximants are speech sounds that could be regarded as intermediate between vowels and typical consonants. ... Sub-apical retroflex plosive In phonetics, retroflex consonants are consonant sounds used in some languages. ...


Despite the ad hoc use of the retroflex flap symbol <ɽ>, all rhotics are trills, although (as in Spanish and Italian) they have single-contact allophones. Indeed, /ɽ/ is the most strongly trilled of Toda's rhotics. The retroflex flap is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... In linguistics, rhotic can refer to: a rhotic consonant such as IPA a rhotic accent such as General American an r-colored vowel such as IPA This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... In phonetics, an allophone is one of several similar phones that belong to the same phoneme. ...


Toda voiceless fricatives are allophonically voiced intervocalically. (There are also invariably voiced fricatives, ʒ, ʐ, ɣ, though the latter is marginal.) The nasals and /r̠, ɽ, j/ are allophonically devoiced or partially devoiced in final position or next to voiceless consonants. In phonetics, a voiceless consonant is a consonant that does not have voicing. ... In phonetics, an allophone is one of several similar phones that belong to the same phoneme. ... A voiced consonant is a sound made as the vocal cords vibrate, as opposed to a voiceless consonant, where the vocal cords are relaxed. ... A nasal consonant is produced when the velum—that fleshy part of the palate near the back—is lowered, allowing air to escape freely through the nose. ...

  Labial Dental Denti-
alveolar
Apical
(post)alveolar
Laminal domed
postalveolar
Sub-apical
retroflex
Velar
Nasal stop    m        ɳ
Plosive p  b   d̪ t̠  d̠ ʈ  ɖ k  ɡ
Affricate ts̪  dz̪ t̻ʃ  d̻ʒ
Fricative f    θ        s̠    ʃ̻  ʒ̻ ʂ  ʐ x (ɣ)
Lateral fricative ɬ̪    ɬ̢   
Trill    
   r̠
   ɽ
Palatalized trill    r̘ʲ
   r̠ʲ
   ɽʲ
Approximant    j    w
Lateral approximant        ɭ

All of these consonants may occur in word-medial and -final position. However, only a retricted set occur initially. These are /p, t̪, k, f, s̪, m, n̠, r̘, l̪, j, w/, in boldface above.


The actual feature that distinguishes /r̘/ and /r̠/ is obscure. They have the same primary place of articulation. Spajić et al. have found that the rhotic which may occur word initially (erroneously called "dental" in previous literature, perhaps because Dravidian coronals tend to be dental by default) has a secondary articulation, which they have tentatively identified as advanced tongue root until further measurements can be made. This analysis is assumed in the transcription /r̘/. Dentals are consonants such as t, d, n, and l articulated with either the lower or the upper teeth, or both, rather than with the gum ridge as in English. ... Secondary articulation refers to co-articulated consonants (consonants produced simultaneously at two places of articulation) where the two articulations are not of the same manner. ... In phonetics, advanced tongue root, abbreviated ATR or +ATR, or expanded, is the expansion of the pharyngeal cavity by moving the base of the tongue forward, and often lowering the larynx, during the pronunciation of a vowel. ...


Another difference between them is that /r̘/ is the least strongly trilled of Toda's rhotics, most often occurring with a single contact. However, unlike a flap, multiple contacts are normal, if less common, and /r̘/ is easily distinguishable from the other trills when they are all produced with the same number of contacts. In phonetics, a flap or tap is a type of consonantal sound, which is produced with a single contraction of the muscles so that one articulator is thrown against another. ...


As mentioned above, the retroflex trill is more consistently trilled than the other rhotics. However, it is not purely retroflex. Although the tongue starts out in a sub-apical retroflex position, trilling involves the tip of the tongue, and this causes it to move forward toward the alvoelar ridge. This means that the retroflex trill gives a preceding vowel retroflex coloration the way other retroflex consonants do, but that the vibration itself is not much different from the other trills. A sub-apical consonant is a consonant made by contact with the underside of the tip of the tongue. ...


See also

The Toda language has a voiceless retroflex lateral fricative that contrasts with both a voiceless alveolar lateral fricative and a retroflex lateral approximant. ... The retroflex trill has been reported from the Dravidian language Toda, and confirmed with laboratory measurements. ...

Reference

  • Siniša Spajić, Peter Ladefoged, P. Bhaskararao, 1994. "The rhotics of Toda". In UCLA Working Papers in Phonetics 87: Fieldwork Studies of Targeted Languages II.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Toda language - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (500 words)
Toda is a Dravidian language well known for its many fricatives and trills.
It is spoken by the Toda people, a population of about one thousand who live in the Nilgiri Hills of southern India.
For a Dravidian language, Toda's sixteen vowels is an unusually large number.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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