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My native language does not have tones. Why tones are part of Chinese language? How the tones were started initially?

Is it because they do not have so many words?

In my native language full sentences tone changes normally more than words. But in general

  1. The first tone is for general discussion, no high feelings are Low feelings.
  2. Second tone or rising tone is to raise voice, question aggressively...
  3. Third tone is respect
  4. Fourth is like commanding.

In world how many languages have tones? What happens if I just hear the voice of word from dictionary voice and follow the same?

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My personal opinion is the dearth of syllables in Chinese.

Whereas English has 10000+ different sounds, Chinese only has about 400. To increment the expressive possibilities, tones developed. Still, assuming every syllable in Chinese has 5 tones (not always the case), Chinese still only has 2000 syllables.

Using Pinyin input, enter yao, or zhi. There are an amazing number of words.

The third tone is only the third tone when a word is pronounced alone. In combination with other characters, it is not pronounced as a third tone.

English, with its constant use of stress and schwa highlights the important content words.

Chinese uses tones to direct you to the intended meaning.

Just my amateur opinion!

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  • Chinese language is merging the words like 2 character words, 3 character words. So without tones chinese can understand most of the words without tones also? Like how English we can understand without perfect grammar? – user27485 Mar 22 at 0:33
  • "The third tone is only the third tone when a word is pronounced alone. In combination with other characters, it is not pronounced as a third tone." May I ask, what do you mean by this? – MuchAppreciated25 Mar 22 at 20:45
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    @MuchAppreciated25 third tones are only pronounced "falling-rising" when they are said by themselves, in actual speech they are more of a low flat or a low flat that rises towards the end. So treat first tones as high flats and third tones as low flats unless the third tone is said by itself, then you emphasize the falling-rising nature – 小奥利奥 Mar 23 at 23:12
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Old Chinese did not have tones but had consonant clusters, and a larger number of consonants. It gradually lost consonants and simplified all consonant clusters to single consonants and had to disambiguate words by tone.

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