Comparative Analysis of Chinese and Shona Tones

Herbert Mushangwe


In an attempt to compare Chinese and Shona tones a short experiment was done to show tone values and patterns in Shona tone system. This was done to put the two languages’ tone systems at par so that they can be comparable. The results from the experiment showed that Shona language just like Chinese language has level, rising and falling tones, however no evidence of the curving tone (the Chinese third tone) was found in Shona. It was concluded that it could be possible to utilize the knowledge of Shona tones as a point of reference in teaching Chinese tones to native speakers of Shona language. This paper suggests that if more such comparative researches are done it could be possible to find useful information which can in turn be used as point of reference in second language teaching.



Tones; Chinese and Shona language; Comparison; Second language learning

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