New answers tagged tones
Arguably 东干语 is an example, which has only three tones. The first and the second one in mandarin is merged. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dungan_language
I am not sure, but probably the Shanghai dialect (上海话), which is said to have only two tones or rather pitch accents: low and high.
It's not standard Jyutping, but CantoDict uses the asterisk to indicate a changed tone. In your example, waa6*2, the standard citation tone for 话 is 6, but when pronounced in the word, 广东话, its tone changes to a rising tone, so it is denoted with a *2. A note at the footer of the definition page indicates this convention: Also, CantoDict uses a unique ...
"Neutral" tone is not really a tone, and shouldn't be used for comparison with lexical tones. Jerry Norman (Chinese, p. 148) calls syllables with neutral tone 'weakly stressed syllables' to avoid just this misundertanding: The term 'neutral tone' implies that weakly stressed syllables are a kind of 'fifth tone'. From both a synchronic and a diachronic ...
The neutral tone doesn't have a fixed value; it's phonetic realization is largely determined by the preceding tone: Also called fifth tone or zeroth tone (in Chinese 轻声 [輕聲] qīng shēng, literal meaning: "light tone"), neutral tone is sometimes thought of as a lack of tone. It is associated with weak syllables, and thus usually comes at the end of a word ...
Adding to @Claw's answer, Standard Cantonese used to have (and I heard in some dialects still has) TWO falling tones (and thus a total of 7 tones). This is still acknowledged in modern-ish dictionaries like the one published by CIHK. The former tone #2 was a high-mid falling tone, akeen to Hakka's fourth tone.
Standard Cantonese's 陽平 tone is definitely pronounced with a falling contour (21). Modern Cantonese Phonology by Robert S. Bauer, p. 144 appears to acknowledge, but did not find, a low-level contour for this tone though: For the Mid-Low Falling tone both Yuan (1983:181) and Zhan (1985:168) also recognized a variant low level contour of ˩11 in addition to ...
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