A phoneme distinguished from another only by its tone.
- ‘The tonemes radically increase the number of admissible syllables - even if far from all possibilities are actually being used.’
- ‘Languages that make use of tonemes are called tonal languages.’
- ‘With Chinese languages, the phonemes and tonemes can be counted in many different ways, and the number of finals that can be distinguished is often difficult to determine.’
- ‘Norwegian has two contrasting tonemes, but only in stressed syllables.’
- ‘The pinyin is so far the optimal system in representing the phonemes and tonemes of Chinese.’
1920s: from tone, on the pattern of phoneme.