Yesterday’s discussion of classical Greek led me to thinking about the somewhat parallel cases of Swedish and Norwegian. They too have two kinds of pitch accent on the stressed syllable of words of more than one syllable. The two pitch accents are lexically distinct.
One is the ‘simple’ or ‘acute’ tone, known also as tone 1 or toneme 1. The other is the ‘compound’ or ‘grave’ tone, ton(em)e 2. The classical minimal pair for Swedish is anden ˈandən ‘the duck’ (from and ‘duck’) vs. anden ˇandən ‘the spirit’ (from ande ‘spirit’). The classical minimal pair for Norwegian is bønder ˈbœnːər ‘farmers, peasants’ vs. bønner ˇbœnːər ‘beans’. (By “classical” I mean the one I read about and was told about when I first studied general phonetics and subsequently elicited from informants whenever we dealt in class with the language concerned.)
Description of the difference between the two is complicated by two factors: (i) dialectal differences, and (ii) the interplay with intonation (sentence accent). Generally speaking, the compound tone has a more complex pitch realization than the simple one does.
If you ask the average native speaker to demonstrate the difference, you will get a non-final intonation pattern for the first, a final intonation pattern for the second. This usually means that the pitch accent difference is more or less swamped by the intonation difference. (Similarly, if you ask a NS of English to demonstrate the “difference” between, say, eaten and Eton — there isn’t one — you will probably get a rising tone on the first and a falling tone on the second. You might naïvely conclude that English has a pitch accent contrast in such lexical pairs.) To elicit the pitch accent difference without this intonation difference your informant has to have the understanding and self-discipline to use the same intonation pattern for both members of the putative minimal pair. (Teachers of EFL, too, and indeed of all foreign languages need this skill.)
You will find a good example of this problem if you listen to the sound recording provided with the Wikipedia article about Swedish phonology.
With statement intonation, the Swedish compound tone “generally consists of a high falling tone on the stressed syllable and another high falling tone on a following unstressed syllable”. The corresponding Norwegian tone “consists of a high-falling pitch”, as opposed to a “low or low-falling pitch” for the simple tone. (Both quotations are from Daniel Jones.)
Not only is the pitch accent difference often hard to describe succinctly, its notation is controversial. Although it is pretty standard to write the simple tone with a simple stress mark, the IPA has no firm guidance on how to notate the compound tone.
In the 1949 edition of the IPA Principles, and in his book The Phoneme: its Nature and Use, Daniel Jones wrote the compound tone as I have done above, namely by placing [ˇ] where otherwise there would have been an ordinary stress mark [ˈ]. Furthermore, in the case of Swedish, the Principles booklet writes a grave accent [ˋ] before the syllable where the second (unstressed) falling tone is located, in cases where two or more syllables follow the stress. So nordanvinden ‘the north wind’, where the stress is on the initial syllable, is transcribed ˇnuːɖanˋvindən.
The IPA’s 1989 Kiel Convention changed the meaning of the symbol [ˋ] from ‘falling tone’ to ‘low tone’. Nevertheless, the 1999 IPA Handbook still makes use of this grave accent to denote the Swedish compound tone. Now, however, the mark goes over the vowel of the stressed syllable, with the location of the second fall shown by a secondary-stress mark, thus ˈnùɖanˌvɪndən. How (if at all) this squares with the revised meaning of the grave accent is not discussed.
Wikipedia writes the Norwegian pitch accents as à and â respectively. For Swedish it starts off with a very complex notation, but in the transcriptions of the North Wind and the Sun passage appears simply to ignore the distinction (ˈnuːɖaɱvɪnˌdən).