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How many phonemic vowels are there in Middle Chinese? I'm interested in this question because Shanghainese has 16 phonological vowel/12 phonemic vowels, and was wondering if it had innovated more distinctions or not. Middle Chinese has 8 tonal distinctions but Cantonese innovated 2 more distinctions between high level - high falling and mid level - changed tone.

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  • Uh,It's so complicated that people don't usually study this stuff. But is it true that when you are familiar with a dialect, you know where it comes from – MMhuhu Mar 15 at 7:40
  • what do you mean by "But is it true that when you are familiar with a dialect, you know where it comes from – kwaalaateimaa Mar 15 at 14:02

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