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12

I took the CEDICT file and wrote a script on it. The file has 113k dictionary entries, so it covers a very large portion of the Chinese vocabulary. There are 1522 different pinyin syllables in CEDICT, when you distinguish tone numbers (like, ma1, ma2, ma3, ma4, ma). If you do not care about tone numbers, you'll get 413 syllables (ma, mo, mi, etc.) Here's ...


11

As Maroon points out in a comment, you have to say which dialect you are asking about. This answer is for Standard Chinese, aka Mandarin. It also depends on what sort of stuff you include. Counting the distinct lines in the syllable index of the Pinyin Chinese-English Dictionary, I get 420 "lines" but this includes some very marginal stuff such as tei, ...


6

I did some searching for tone distribution chinese and found this post ("What is the distribution of tones in Mandarin Chinese?") on Quora. One person who responded took a list of characters and extracted, with some programming, the tone(s) for each character. (Multiple pronunciations are permitted and counted separately.) The result he got was: First ...


6

As a Mandarin native speaker I pronounce 道 exactly same as 到,稻。 I pronounce the initial d exactly same as in dog or dad. I also pronounce t exactly in the same way for stop. The native English pronunciation of dog and stop might be different, but to my ESL ears, they are exactly same. Added: Here is a video teaching Pinyin Mandarin Chinese Pinyin ...


6

Voiceless: Pinyin h is standardly the voiceless velar fricative [x], although it is often written [χ] for some reason — Chinese IPA developed its own transcriptional traditions, for instance the use of [ɒ] where [ɑ] might be more usual, in the mid-twentieth century. However, there's no systematic contrast between [x] and [χ] in standard Mandarin, and ...


6

The answer to this could well depend on the specific language meant by "Chinese". For instance, Cantonese supposedly has over 600, which isn't surprising because of larger variation of vowels and the presence of more ending consonants. (I am unsure as to whether this figure takes tones into account.) I will assume that this is about 普通话, since that seems to ...


4

Are there any erhua-ed words that has a different meaning from the not "erhualess" word? Yes, many, categorized as follows: Nominalization (convert to noun), e.g. 盖 (to cover) -> 盖儿 (lid), 尖 (pointy) -> 尖儿 (tip) Generalization, e.g. 眼 (eye) -> 眼儿 (hole), Derivation, e.g. 白面 (white flour) -> 白面儿 (drug) Word simplification by replacing the last ...


3

Standard Chinese does contain voiceless velar fricative [x] but no voiced velar fricative [ɣ]. Actually Standard Chinese has only one voiced consonant [ʐ]. However, many Mandarin speakers especially those from southern China would pronounce [x] as [h], and speakers of northern China would tend to practice [x]. If you take [h] for [x], people will not ...


3

There are two issues here: [x] or [χ]?: Who cares? You could pronounce pinyin "h" in a variety of ways without impeding understanding (e.g., [h], [x], or [χ]). I think [χ] is a better description of my experience with pinyin "h", but this isn't a big deal. [ɤ] is the voiced velar fricative, right? Nope! You're confusing two very graphically similar ...


3

Does the Beijing-R mean anything? I happened to have lunch the other day with some university students, a couple of Guangdongers and a Shanghainese, in one of those Rolex-Louis Vuitton malls that clutter central Beijing, the kind where shopgirls outnumber customers 23 to 1 on gleaming floor after floor of luxury goods, until you get to the food court and ...


2

Most native Chinese will resort "儿" sound to Beijing dialect. The tail sound "儿" didn't add any additional meaning to the meaning in most cases. With or without a "儿" only differs in the slight Emotion variations towards the listeners, which is quite subjective.


2

Edit: Sorry that I misunderstood the question. I thought Maroon was talking about non-native Cantonese speakers. Most native Mandarin speakers have trouble handling the rising (上聲) and departing tones (去聲) in Cantonese. It is because Cantonese further differentiates them into high-rising (陰上), low-rising (陽上), high-level (陰去) and low-level (陽去). ...


1

Supposedly this biang originates in a regional form of Northern ("Mandarin") Chinese. It's not a syllable in the standard language as originally defined with rigidity, but all the same it's widely known and used now. Technically, it's a loan syllable. So I suppose we should say that it's phonologically possible because people actually use it. ...


1

Actually, HK's Cantonese is not the standard of Yue Chinese. The standard is in Guangzhou (and around, like Foshan). Second, there are many many dialects of Cantonese, and you could say that every village has its own variation. Even places like Panyu or Dongguan have their own dialect, and they are not so easy to understand. Tones are different, some vowels ...


1

Even more useful than learning the individual tones is their learning their combinations. One combination many English-speakers seem to have trouble with is 3 + 2, as in Měiguó 'America' hěn máng 'busy, quite busy' xiěwȧn 'to finish writing' liǎnpén 'basin for washing the face' etc. This combination is particularly useful because it helps people grasp ...


1

It is different from place to place, and there is no standard. Normally, it won't appear in official announcements, laws, scientific publications, etc. But it is widely used in daily life. For native Chinese, when we move from one place to another, even if it is nearer, we still need time to get use to it, at the same time when we get use to the local ...



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