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Questions tagged [tones]

Questions about the tones used in Chinese.

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On Linux, how do I output Chinese Characters (not pinyin) using tones in the input

I would like to be able to input tone alongside the pronunciation in order to input Chinese characters on Linux (e.g. ta1 = 他, ta2 = 蹹, ta3 = 塔, ta4 = 踏). Most modern IMEs do not allow this input ...
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42 views

Where can I find a collection of samples of Mandarin spoken words, annotated with pinyin and tones?

I recently built the following app that lets you listen to a Chinese word and asks tests your tone hearing ability: https://tones.strokes.ovh/ I'd like to extend it, but in order to get there I need ...
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2answers
87 views

Do you change your voice when you're surprised, unsure etc. in Mandarin?

In English you sometimes pronounce words in very different pitches/tones to express your emotions. For example when you're offended, surprised or when being sarcastic. Depending on the situation you ...
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1answer
67 views

Example of stress or tone on a consonant

Wondering if there is such thing as stress on a consonant, e.g. t́, ĺ, ḿ, ś, ʃ́... If so, what the example language would be. I haven't seen any on Wikipedia. Same thing for tone, I haven't seen ...
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237 views

How modern Chinese singing works if Chinese has tones

Since Chinese is a tonal language, I'm wondering how this affects Chinese singing. Specifically wondering about the modern Chinese version of modern American pop music, which has relatively simple ...
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128 views

Where can I find a full list of combinations of sounds and tones used in Chinese?

I heard that there are roughly 400 sounds in Mandarin plus four tones. Are all combinations of those used in Chinese vocabulary, making it 1600 possibilities per single-sound word? If not, how many ...
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74 views

Do all syllables occur in all tones?

For example, ne and nè are words. But there are no nē, né, or ně. I tried to Google this but I don't find any references to it. It's obviously not by final, because kē, ké, and kě all exist. Is ...
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Pronunciation/tones for hug (擁抱): yong1 bao4 or yong3 bao4?

CantoDict and yellowbridge say the pronunciation for 擁抱 is yong1 bao4. However, Google Translate and other pages say it's yong3 bao4. What's the right pronunciation?
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4answers
129 views

What tone is 杆 in 扶杆?

According to pleco 杆 in the third tone means shaft or arm, while in the first tone it means pole or staff. 扶杆 is in one of our exercises. It is not contained in any of the pleco dictionaries I own (...
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148 views

what's the term for “tone contour”?

I would like a translation in putonghua for “tone contour” as in “the tone contour of 普通话 is 314” I found two terms: 声调轮廓 from CC-CEDICT 音调曲线 from ABC dictionary Are either (or both?) of these ...
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What does 尽 mean and what tone does it have in 对我父母也极尽照顾?

This question is about 尽 in this snippet: 不仅对我好,对我父母也极尽照顾,。。。 Bùjǐn duì wǒ hǎo, duì wǒ fùmǔ yě jí [jìn/jǐn] zhàogù, ... 嫁给离婚带孩子的男人 我的生活只剩下两个字, guaixun.com I translate this to something like: ...
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63 views

Chinese Pronounciation App

I am curious whether there is some good app or a website for practicing pronunciation of Chinese tones. There is a way to practice pronunciation on HelloChinese but I find the tone recognition quite ...
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Sogou IME (on Ubuntu): How to output pinyin with tone marks?

I have Sogou Pinyin on Ubuntu and things work fine, but I haven't been able to figure out how to type Pinyin with tone marks, e.g. 'mǎ', etc. I've looked into the settings but found no option like ...
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155 views

Why does 空 have a fourth tone reading in 空格, but a first tone reading in 空调, 空气 etc

And, more broadly, is there a pattern when words like 空 have the same pronunciation but different tones, depending on the word?
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In which pitches do I pronounce several first tones in a sequence?

For a while now I've been noticing and trying to figure out how to correctly pronounce several first tone characters in a row. Examples: 機車 jīchē 公車 gōngchē The speech synthesis of Quizlet ...
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0answers
76 views

Tone contours along diphthongs

I'd like to know as much as possible about how tone contours (T2, T3, T4) are distributed along Mandarin/standard rhyme diphthongs, especially ai ei ao ou, with references to academic articles if ...
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2answers
122 views

neutral tone in a non-final syllable

Can a neutral/fifth tone appear in a word syllable other than the last one? If so, as a lexical tone, a sandhi tone or both? Adding a few examples would be helpful.
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111 views

我好想你 and tone shift [duplicate]

I'm new to Chinese so please forgive me if this question it's dumb. I read this frase on a lyrics' song: 我好想你 And when I search for the pinyin I got this: wo3 ha3o xia3ng ni3 ...
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3answers
55 views

上[將] in 4th tone instead of 1st tone?

My understanding for the pronunciation of 將 is 4th tone for verb (e.g. 將數百之衆,轉而攻秦) and 1st tone for noun (e.g. 將軍; 將 in 象棋). So why is it that for 上將 as in 海軍上將, the character is in 4th tone? My ...
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Are idioms affected by tone changing rules?

For example, if I have the idiom: 一路平安 Does the tone of the 一 change to a second tone because 路 is fourth tone?
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91 views

Is spelling with numbers a viable option to remember tones?

This question is about the technique to remember tones via spelling in pinyin with the unaccented letter followed by the tone number as opposed to the superscript. For example, remembering nǐ as ni3 ...
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2answers
53 views

What is the tone for 少 in 老少边穷地区?

I hear Mr. Xi Jinping in his address to villagers spoke 老少边穷地区 in the fourth tone (i.e., 少 as 绍), but I think he might have made a mistake here, out of instincts, without any real understanding.
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146 views

Should tone sandhi be written in pinyin?

Tone sandhi is a phonological change occurring in tonal languages, in which the tones assigned to individual words or morphemes change based on the pronunciation of adjacent words or morphemes. ...
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3answers
270 views

質: when to pronounce in 2nd tone or 4th (Mandarin)?

In Mandarin, sometimes 質 is pronounced with the 2nd tone (e.g., 質地, 特質) and other times it's pronounced with the 4th tone (e.g., 質疑, 質量, 品質). Here are two words pronounced with the 2nd tone: 質地 http:...
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这个 and 个 Pinyin

According to Google Translate the Pinyin for 这个 is 'Zhège' but the Pinyin for 个 is 'Gè'. I've looked at several links referring to tone changes (e.g. here) but nothing I can find explains the ...
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227 views

Tones and Pinyin, Foreigners vs Natives

Evidently, tones are a matter of concern for many learners of Chinese (see for example, this question on remembering tones). While learners struggle to describe the properties of tones (is the 3rd ...
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625 views

How to pronounce three third tones in a row? [duplicate]

Edit: This is a duplicate of How does tone sandhi apply in people's names? I learned the rules for pronouncing tone pairs, I know that for a sentence like 我买花 the two third tones become a second ...
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581 views

What is the rule for a series of third tones?

I understand what to do if you have a series of 3 third tones, and the rules are well explained here. But what about 4 third tones in a row? 这件大衣很特别,我也想买一件。 I'm guessing it would be wó yě xiáng ...
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What is the correct tone for 压 in 高压电 (high voltage) and 低压电 (low voltage)?

In the following signs, we have 高压电 (high voltage) and 低压电 (low voltage). Chinese Converter gives the pinyin: gāo yā diàn and dī yā diàn (this has been wrong in the past). However, Dict.cn and ...
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138 views

How important are tones in comparison with vowels or consonants in Mandarin?

Tones are of course essential to distinguish meaning in Mandarin. However, how important are they if you compare with vowels or consonants? For example, to a native, what sounds "more wrong" - to ...
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59 views

What is the name of this tonal marking system?

What is the name of this tonal marking system? please do not try to explain the picture - the picture is clear enough itself.
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98 views

Is Cantonese a better choice in looking for characters in rime dictionary (韻書)?

I ask this question, and provide my opinion as an answer, to reply to the comment of another tread in stack exchange: Pronunciation of Tang Dynasty Poetry The rationale is that it is difficult to ...
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3answers
833 views

How do Chinese speakers convey emotions by speech?

In many languages, a tone conveys emotion. Thus, a word in the first tone might be perceived as conveying an easy-off emotion by a native Russian speaker; a word in the second tone might be most ...
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198 views

Standard tone for 面 (mian4 or mian5) when used in words like 后面, 前面, 对面?

I noticed that CC-CEDICT uses a mixture. For example: mian4: 前面, 对面, 里面 mian5: 后面, 上面, 下面, 外面 ABC is similar except: mian4: 后面 (but also has mian5 as a less common pronunciation) mian5: 前面 Is ...
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80 views

how do dialects deal with two seperate falling tones accents?

I've asked a similar question before: Dialects/Topolects: Tone Marks? but I want to make this more specific here. I know not everyone agrees with tone accents in dialects/topolects - but just for ...
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1answer
75 views

Colour code characters according to tone on iPhone/Android

I use wechat to talk with Chinese friends, and try to type Chinese to help me learn. I would like Chinese characters to appear colour coded according to tone. How could I go about this? Assuming it's ...
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239 views

How to hear tones in speech better

Today I mistook 化学 for 滑雪. That's it. How can I train my ears to better hear tones when people speak Chinese? Sometimes, the tones aren't pronounced to a level where I can physically hear them/have ...
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521 views

Generalize consecutive third tones change rule

井井有条​ (to be neat and tidy) we have a sequence of the third tones. Why is it pronounced as jing2 jing2 you3 tiao2 and not jing2 jing3 you3 tiao2 After all, the first half goes together, and the ...
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4answers
308 views

Do tones change at the end of an interrogative sentence?

At 0:57 in the link below, the woman says "餐" in what sounds to be the second tone, which is rising (Edit: on second thought, it sounds more like a toneless tone, like "么" in "什么." The girl says "餐" ...
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568 views

Do native speakers learn about 4 tones in school or do they naturally pick them up without formal education?

Do native speakers explicitly learn about 4 tones in school or do they naturally pick them up without formal education? If so how does the school test it? By having students write appropriate tone ...
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327 views

Does 芋頭 have a different pronunciation in Taiwan Mandarin vs Mainland?

My friends in Kaohsiung just taught me the word for "taro" 芋頭. I looked it up and found yu4 tou5 but my friends here insist it's yu4 tou2. Is this a pronunciation difference between Taiwan vs the ...
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244 views

Difference between duìbùqǐ and duìbuqǐ

I have seen examples that show 对不起 as duìbùqǐ and duìbuqǐ in pinyin. For instance: 对不起,我踩到你的脚了。 duìbùqǐ, wǒ cǎi dào nǐ de jiǎole. 对不起,我听不懂。 duìbuqǐ, wǒ tīng bù dǒng. Similarly, I have also seen the ...
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488 views

How to pronounce the Mandarin third tone

I've started to learn Chinese about a month ago (as a foreign language) and I'm a little bit confused about how to pronounce the third tone (while dropping aside the tone sandhi rules). I'm confused ...
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77 views

Back to back tones for single character ˩˧ ˧˩?

tian ˩˧ ˧˩ What do these back to back tones mean? Tone sandhi? book should be here: book
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Question about the use of 中 (first or fourth tone)?

I'm unsure whether the 中 in this phrase is to be in the first or fourth tone: 吃得苦中苦,方为人上人. Also, what exactly does 方 mean in this saying? Thank you, Rachel
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203 views

Can I communicate without changing tones?

I'm not sure why this question has not been posted yet (I might have overlooked), but is it possible to communicate with native Chinese people even if you don't change its tones? For example, I only ...
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426 views

How do I pronounce romanised Chinese names which lack tone marks?

In the West, Chinese names almost never seem to be written using pinyin tone marks or numbers. For example, the current president's name will simply be written as Xi Jinping. I had to Google to ...
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1answer
105 views

Tips for pronunciating tone value “21”?

Any tips for pronunciating tone value "21"? It seems to be, fairly, common in Chinese topolects. Kind of hard to get a grasp on the whole starting low and dropping lower thing, though. Some have ...
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181 views

Give further examples of morphological alternation patterns such as Verb/Noun (处 chu3 / chu4) and Active/Inactive Verb (好 hao4 / hao3)

In this answer, a few examples of morphological alternation patterns are provided, like Verb/Noun (e.g. 处 chu3 "to dwell" / chu4 "a place") and Active/Inactive Verb (e.g. 好 hao4 "to like" / hao3 "to ...