tonal

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

tone +‎ -al

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Adjective[edit]

tonal (comparative more tonal, superlative most tonal)

  1. Of or relating to tones or tonality.
  2. (music) Employing tones that have a predictable relationship to some tonic.
  3. (linguistics) Employing differences in pitch (tones) to distinguish differences in the meaning of otherwise similar words (words which would otherwise be homophonic).
Translations[edit]
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Etymology 2[edit]

From Nahuatl tōnalli (day, day sign)

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

tonal (plural tonals)

  1. (in Mesoamerican mythology) An animal companion which accompanies a person from birth to death.
    • 1989, Robert Bartley Taylor, Indians of Middle America: an introduction to the ethnology of Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, page 122:
      When a tonal suffers misfortune or death, the same thing happens to the person associated with it.
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