Tone (linguistics)wikipedia
Tone is the use of pitch in language to distinguish lexical or grammatical meaning – that is, to distinguish or to inflect words.
tonetonal languagetonestonaltone languagetonal languagesword tonetonogenesislexical tonetonemes

Kra–Dai languages

Kra–DaiTai–KadaiTai-Kadai
Contour systems are typical of languages of the Mainland Southeast Asia linguistic area, including Kra–Dai, Vietic and Sino-Tibetan languages. Sino-Tibetan and Tai-Kadai languages are mostly tonal, including Thai, Lao, all the varieties of Chinese (though some, such as Shanghainese, are only marginally tonal) and Burmese with few exceptions such as Amdo Tibetan.
The Kra–Dai languages (also known as Tai–Kadai, Daic and Kadai) are a language family of tonal languages found in southern China, Northeast India and Southeast Asia.

Mandarin Chinese

MandarinChineseMandarin Chinese
In the most widely spoken tonal language, Mandarin Chinese, tones are distinguished by their distinctive shape, known as contour, with each tone having a different internal pattern of rising and falling pitch.
Most Mandarin varieties have four tones.

Pitch-accent language

pitch accentpitchpitch-accent language
Such minimal systems are sometimes called pitch accent since they are reminiscent of stress accent languages, which typically allow one principal stressed syllable per word.
A pitch-accent language is a language that has word-accents—that is, where one syllable in a word or morpheme is more prominent than the others, but the accentuated syllable is indicated by a particular pitch contour (linguistic tones) rather than by stress.

Intonation (linguistics)

intonationintonationalintonations
All verbal languages use pitch to express emotional and other paralinguistic information and to convey emphasis, contrast, and other such features in what is called intonation, but not all languages use tones to distinguish words or their inflections, analogously to consonants and vowels.
In linguistics, intonation is variation in spoken pitch when used, not for distinguishing words (a concept known as tone), but, rather, for a range of other functions such as indicating the attitudes and emotions of the speaker, signalling the difference between statements and questions, and between different types of questions, focusing attention on important elements of the spoken message and also helping to regulate conversational interaction.

Lao language

LaoLaotianeponymous language
Sino-Tibetan and Tai-Kadai languages are mostly tonal, including Thai, Lao, all the varieties of Chinese (though some, such as Shanghainese, are only marginally tonal) and Burmese with few exceptions such as Amdo Tibetan.
Lao, sometimes referred to as Laotian (ລາວ 'Lao' or ພາສາລາວ 'Lao language') is a tonal language of the Kra–Dai language family.

Old Chinese

old Chineseancient ChineseOC
Unlike in Bantu systems, tone plays little role in the grammar of modern standard Chinese, though the tones descend from features in Old Chinese that had morphological significance (such as changing a verb to a noun or vice versa).
Most recent reconstructions also describe Old Chinese as a language without tones, but having consonant clusters at the end of the syllable, which developed into tone distinctions in Middle Chinese.

Downstep

downstepdrop in pitchdownsteps
In Japanese, fewer than half of the words have a drop in pitch; words contrast according to which syllable this drop follows.
Downstep is a phenomenon in tone languages in which if two syllables have the same tone (for example, both with a high tone or both with a low tone), the second syllable is lower in pitch than the first.

Fula language

FulaFulfuldeFulani
Most languages of Sub-Saharan Africa are members of the Niger-Congo family, which is predominantly tonal; notably excepting Swahili (in the Southeast), most languages spoken in the Senegambia (among them Wolof, Serer and Cangin languages), Koyra Chiini and Fulani.
Along with other related languages such as Serer and Wolof, it belongs to the Senegambian branch within the Niger–Congo languages, which does not have tones, unlike most other Niger–Congo languages.

Thai language

ThaiThai:Siamese
Sino-Tibetan and Tai-Kadai languages are mostly tonal, including Thai, Lao, all the varieties of Chinese (though some, such as Shanghainese, are only marginally tonal) and Burmese with few exceptions such as Amdo Tibetan.
It is a tonal and analytic language.

Burmese language

BurmeseMyanmarMyanmarsar
Sino-Tibetan and Tai-Kadai languages are mostly tonal, including Thai, Lao, all the varieties of Chinese (though some, such as Shanghainese, are only marginally tonal) and Burmese with few exceptions such as Amdo Tibetan.
Burmese is a tonal, pitch-register, and syllable-timed language, largely monosyllabic and analytic, with a subject–object–verb word order.

Phoneme

phonemephonemicphonemes
Languages that do have this feature are called tonal languages; the distinctive tone patterns of such a language are sometimes called tonemes, by analogy with phoneme.
While phonemes are normally conceived of as abstractions of discrete segmental speech sounds (vowels and consonants), there are other features of pronunciation – principally tone and stress – which in some languages can change the meaning of words in the way that phoneme contrasts do, and are consequently called phonemic features of those languages.

Vietic languages

VieticVietic branchViet-Muong
Contour systems are typical of languages of the Mainland Southeast Asia linguistic area, including Kra–Dai, Vietic and Sino-Tibetan languages.
Modern Vietnamese is a monosyllabic tonal language like Cantonese and has lost many Proto-Austroasiatic phonological and morphological features.

Wolof language

WolofwolWolof-language
Most languages of Sub-Saharan Africa are members of the Niger-Congo family, which is predominantly tonal; notably excepting Swahili (in the Southeast), most languages spoken in the Senegambia (among them Wolof, Serer and Cangin languages), Koyra Chiini and Fulani.
Unlike most other languages of the Niger-Congo family, Wolof is not a tonal language.

Varieties of Chinese

varieties of ChineseChineseSinitic
Sino-Tibetan and Tai-Kadai languages are mostly tonal, including Thai, Lao, all the varieties of Chinese (though some, such as Shanghainese, are only marginally tonal) and Burmese with few exceptions such as Amdo Tibetan.
All have phonemic tones, with northern varieties tending to have fewer distinctions than southern ones.

Chinese language

ChineseRegional dialectChinese:
Tones in Vietnamese and Utsul may result from heavy Chinese influence on both languages.
All varieties of Chinese are tonal and analytic.

Omotic languages

OmoticOmotic familyOmotic language
The Afroasiatic languages include both tonal (Chadic, Omotic) and nontonal (Semitic, Berber, Egyptian, and most Cushitic) branches.
They are fairly agglutinative and have complex tonal systems (for example, the Bench language).

Vietnamese language

VietnameseVietnamese nameVietnamese-language
Tones in Vietnamese and Utsul may result from heavy Chinese influence on both languages. Austroasiatic (such as Khmer and Mon) and Austronesian (such as Malay) languages are mostly non tonal with the rare exception of Austroasiatic languages like Vietnamese, and Austronesian languages like Cèmuhî and Utsul.
The Vietnamese alphabet (chữ quốc ngữ) in use today is a Latin alphabet with additional diacritics for tones and certain letters.

Bench language

BenchGimiraBencho (Gimira)
Some languages combine both systems, such as Cantonese, which produces three varieties of contour tone at three different pitch levels, and the Omotic (Afroasiatic) language Bench, which employs five level tones and one or two rising tones across levels.
The language is also noteworthy in that it has six phonemic tones, one of only a handful of languages in the world that have this many.

Stress (linguistics)

stressstressedunstressed
Such minimal systems are sometimes called pitch accent since they are reminiscent of stress accent languages, which typically allow one principal stressed syllable per word.
A prominent syllable or word is said to be accented or tonic; the latter term does not imply that it carries phonemic tone.

Punjabi language

PunjabiPanjabiPunjabi-language
In South Asia, many Indo-Aryan languages have tonality, including many languages from the Northwest zone, like Punjabi, Dogri, and Lahnda and many Bengali-Assamese languages such as Sylheti, Rohingya, Chittagonian and Chakma.
Punjabi is unusual among Indo-European languages in its use of lexical tone (that is, the way in which the pitch of the voice conveys meaning).

Navajo language

NavajoNavajo languageNavajo:
A large number of North, South and Central American languages are tonal, including many of the Athabaskan languages of Alaska and the American Southwest (including Navajo), and the Oto-Manguean languages of Mexico.
Its four basic vowels are distinguished for nasality, length, and tone.

Swedish language

SwedishSwedish-languageSwedish-speaking
In Europe, Swedish, Norwegian, Serbo-Croatian, Slovene, Lithuanian, Latvian and Limburgish have tonal characteristics.
The prosody features both stress and in most dialects tonal qualities.

Khmer language

KhmerCambodianKhmer (Cambodian)
Austroasiatic (such as Khmer and Mon) and Austronesian (such as Malay) languages are mostly non tonal with the rare exception of Austroasiatic languages like Vietnamese, and Austronesian languages like Cèmuhî and Utsul.
Khmer differs from neighboring languages such as Thai, Burmese, Lao and Vietnamese in that it is not a tonal language.

Dogri language

DogriDogradoi
In South Asia, many Indo-Aryan languages have tonality, including many languages from the Northwest zone, like Punjabi, Dogri, and Lahnda and many Bengali-Assamese languages such as Sylheti, Rohingya, Chittagonian and Chakma.
Unusually for an Indo-European language, Dogri is tonal, a trait it shares with other Western Pahari languages and Punjabi.

Shanghainese

ShanghaineseShanghaiwritten Shanghainese
Sino-Tibetan and Tai-Kadai languages are mostly tonal, including Thai, Lao, all the varieties of Chinese (though some, such as Shanghainese, are only marginally tonal) and Burmese with few exceptions such as Amdo Tibetan.
The Shanghainese tonal system is also significantly different from other Chinese varieties, sharing more similarities with the Japanese pitch accent, with two level tonal contrasts (high and low), whereas Cantonese and Mandarin are typical of contour tonal languages.