From both a practical learning perspective and an interest in linguistics, I want to know whether there are any common patterns or "rules of thumb" that influence which tone is assigned to each character in Mandarin. (I'm not asking about sandhi tone shifts here.)
So far, I have not discovered or heard of any such patterns, but I'm hoping that tones are not purely random! Any statistically prominent patterns could help both with memorization and with decoding/guessing new characters. As context, most of my learning materials include Pinyin.
My question could be considered a tone-focused parallel to the understanding of how many characters were constructed through patterns of combinations of radicals. Thus, in that sense, written characters and their meanings are NOT entirely random.
As theoretical examples, specific tones ...
- could be more frequently associated with certain categories of meaning or parts of speech
- or could be frequently linked to the radical(s) in the character,
- or perhaps influenced by some other factors I haven't imagined.
By the way, these are all related but none of them address what I am asking here.