1

I know that when a 3rd tone is followed by another 3rd tone, (3-3) it is pronounced (2-3). On the other hand, I know that a 3rd tone followed by a non-3rd tone and on many other occasions is pronounced a "half 3-rd tone". For example (lao3 shi1) is pronounced (lao3h shi1), that is (3h-1)

My question is, Is it correct to pronounce a (3-3) as (3h- 3h) or it must be pronounced (2-3) anyway?

2

Is it correct to pronounce a (3-3) as (3h- 3h) or it must be pronounced (2-3) anyway?

No, it would be wrong. It must be 2nd-3rd.

In some places is quite common 2-3h, but never 3h-3h.

1
  • 3h-3h will also be too close to 4-4
    – Rusurano
    Jul 17 at 19:14
7

They are pronounced as 2-3 but only if they are within the same word boundary. If not, they are still pronounced as 3-3. I have given this example before:(一桶)(柳橙)。桶and柳are both third tone. Because they are in different word boundaries, there is no tone sandhi. They are pronounced as 3-3, or, more accurately, 3h-3h.

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  • 2
    @Giuseppe Romanazzi Thanks for the comment. I'm not a linguist and really can't tell if there is a pause between the 2 3h's. I tried to say 我明天要去買一桶柳橙as quickly as I could and didn't seem to detect the pause you mentioned.
    – joehua
    Jul 19 at 1:36
  • Sorry, I've just seen your comment. What I really mean is that what you said "Because they are in different word boundaries, there is no tone sandhi" is not Mandarin Chinese (普通话). I'm very serious in asking you if there is any way to post an MP3 file with your pronunciation of that sentence. It might be that 1) you cannot detect that you do change the tone of 桶 from 3rd to 2nd, or 2) your pronunciation is affected by a local accent. Tones in 一桶柳橙 are 4th-2nd-3rd-2nd. Another example: 一碗米饭 (4th-2nd-3rd-4th). Can you post here an audio file? Jul 28 at 23:25
  • @Giuseppe Romanazzi can it be done by email? I don't want my voice to be a public record.
    – joehua
    Jul 29 at 5:30
  • Sure, send it to me, please. Just choose one of my domains (see profile) and add whatever you want before @ (joehua@wea...com or joehua@gius...com for example, but I would get your email whatever you write before @). Jul 29 at 7:12
  • I heard your two audio files, thanks. The pronunciation of 我明天要去買一桶柳橙 is correct, and yes, you do change the tone of 桶 from 3rd to 2nd. On the contrary, the pronunciation of 一碗米饭 is to be improved. In the audio file it is pronounced twice yì wǎn mí fen. Jul 29 at 14:16

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