Im playing around with a #conlang that uses tones, but I’m struggling to find a reason to keep peaking (/˧˦˧/) and dipping (/˦˧˦/) tones beyond simply having more syllable options. Would it be “bad” to only have rising, high, falling, and low tones?
Alternately, would it be bad to use peaking and dipping tones _only_ for expressing intent/meaning (ie sarcasm, surprise, etc) instead of for distinguishing words/syllables? I know Mandarin doesn’t use it like that, but would it be ok??
You can have multiple tone systems playing different roles in your language. Even English, our canonically toneless language, distinguishes between word-level and sentence-level intonation. Neurotypical children would acquire all of them without trouble.