III. Semantic and Grammatical Values of Tonality
The Semantic Value of Tonality
Tonality in Lingala can differentiate between words and their meanings. Words could be written in a similar way but the change in tonality indicates the difference between them. Let’s me demonstrate this by using examples.
kotanga (to disgust)
kotánga (to read)
The Grammatical Value of Tonality
Alternatively, tonality in Lingala can indicate a change in tense. Let’s see some examples.
nalámba (I am going to cook right now)
nálámba sikasika (I will cook now)
nalámbaká kalakala (I have already cooked)