Definition of tone group in English:

tone group


  • A group of words forming a distinctive unit in an utterance, containing a nucleus and optionally one or more other syllables before and after the nucleus.

    • ‘This means that tone groups vary in duration, depending upon the number of syllables they contain.’
    • ‘The tone groups in the spoken version are sometimes complete clauses but almost always very simple ones.’
    • ‘Functional pauses serve to divide discourse into tone groups and organize it into information units.’
    • ‘In Fuzhou, for instance, only modifiers preceding the head or a single argument following the head can form a tone group with it.’
    • ‘The nucleus is often assumed to be the most prominent syllable in the tone group, but this is not always the case.’