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18

Linguists divide pre-modern Chinese broadly into two periods: Old Chinese and Middle Chinese. I wanted to preface my answer by noting that Bernhard Karlgren used the term "Ancient Chinese" to refer specifically to Middle Chinese, and it appears that your questions seem to be referring to Middle Chinese as well, though I will be making a note about Old ...


13

Here are some different things that I have seen that has helped people pick up tones: Starting out Most books use graphs which show how each of the tones rise, fall, flatten etc (example here). It helps some people to see the difference visually and the graphs show how great an extent the tones differ. The tones also have names (not official) e.g. rising, ...


12

For people who tell me they "don't get" the tones, or who can say them but quickly forget them, I usually explain them as listed below. I imagine you're well past this point, but the visuals might help remembering them: 1st tone: Sing it -- ♪ 2nd tone: Like a yes/no question -- ? 3rd tone: Low, creaky. -- Still can't think of a good symbol >_< 4th tone: ...


12

The rule that applies to sentences also applies to names, that is for a sentence of sequential 3rd tone characters, (Optionally) Split it to phrases by functional groups. For each group, every other character is read as 2nd tone while keeping the last character 3rd tone. 2.1. If a group has even number of characters, the tones become 2,3,...,2,3,2,3. 2.2. ...


12

Dictionaries, in general, will not incorporate tone sandhi rules into their pronunciations (of which Mandarin has quite a few) Wikipedia says the following: Mandarin Chinese Mandarin features several sandhi tone rules. When there are two 3rd tones in a row, the first one becomes 2nd tone, and the second one becomes a half-3rd tone. E.g. 你好 (...


11

一 is pronounced in the first tone when it stands alone. It is pronounced in the fourth tone when it precedes a first, second, or third tone. However, it is pronounced in the second tone when it precedes a fourth tone. 不 is a bit similar: It is also pronounced in the fourth tone when it precedes a first, second, or third tone. However, it is pronounced in the ...


11

The correct one should be bu2 zai4 hu. Unless there is an emphasis for "NOT" CARE, a 4th tone bu4 is then used, but I rarely hear that as a native speaker. Let's review the tone change rule for 不, A second tone bu2 is used only when the tone of next character is a 4th tone, i.e. bu2 shi4. A forth tone bu4 is used if the tone of next character is 1st, 2nd ...


11

一 in 一线 has two kinds of tones, and two corresponding meanings: yi1 xian4 (1st tone), means front line / 1st line, such as 一线城市 (first-tier city), 亲临一线, 一线队. yi2 xian4 (2nd tone), means a gleam of / a ray of, such as 一线光明, 一线生机. Basically, before the word with 4th tone, 一 should be pronounced as the 2nd tone (“一”的音变), such as 一样, 一辈子. But if it is used as ...


11

There have been conflicting claims on whether the second tone and the "raised third tone" are distinct, but according to Jerry Norman's 1988 book, Chinese, "Perceptual tests done by Dreher and Lee (1966) and Wang and Li (1967) established that native speakers are unable to make a consistent distinction between second tones and raised third tones" (147). So ...


10

The rule about the 3rd tone sandhi is: When word with the 3rd tone is used alone, or used at the end of the expression, it's pronounced as the original tone, i.e. the 3rd tone. e.g. 雪, 滑雪. When two words with the 3rd tone are used together, the 1st one is pronounced as the 2nd tone. e.g. 老虎, 海岛. When word with the 3rd tone is used before other words with ...


9

As your linked table indicates, the Middle Chinese 陰上 tone generally corresponds to Cantonese tone 2 and Mandarin tone 3, so it is indeed curious that you see both words having tone 4 in Mandarin, which typically corresponds to Middle Chinese 去 tones or 陽上 tones where the syllable onset is an obstruent (全濁聲母). Looking up the characters in the Kangxi ...


9

These tone changes, known as tone sandhi, are not indicated according to Hanyu Pinyin rules: 11.1 Only the original tones are indicated; tone sandhi is not indicated. This is why your Google search for "yìnián" would not necessarily yield more results, because it's still supposed to be written as "yīnián" even when it's pronounced "yìnián". EDIT: Here's ...


9

All the 5 tones in Mandarin exist in English already, but not used in the same way. 1st tone: I am a STUUUUU-dent. When you read this sentence in the normal way, the syllable STUUUUU carries the first tone. 2nd tone: Are you a stu-DENT? When we ask a yes-no question in English, we need to raise the last syllable of the sentence. The syllable of DENT? ...


8

There is a very interesting phenomenon in Chinese, called 语音变调(tone sandhi). Here are the rules. (Note: all the rules apply only characters in the same word/phrase) Tone Rule #1: 3-3 to 2-3 When there are 2 third tones in a row in the same word/phrase, the first one becomes second tone. This rule is always followed automatically, even though it will not ...


8

Modern Cantonese is generally considered not to have tone sandhi (in Chinese, 變調, but also more specifically 連續變調), that is to say, changes in the tonal values when in certain phonetic contexts. Cantonese does have a phenomenon of lexical derivation which involves a change of tone, known as 變音 or changed tone; many discussions consider both these tone ...


7

Simply put, there are no tone sandhi rules for when words change from their citation tone to the neutral tone. The appearance of the neutral tone is morphologically motivated, not phonologically motivated — in other words, the tone change is not governed by the sounds of the surrounding words. Because the definition of sandhi is phonologically-...


7

一 is First tone here, meaning first class, the best. Other examples: 一等奖, first prize; 第一, first.


6

I feel this is a pedagogical shortcoming. New words should be introduced using pairs of words with the same sound but different tones, for example {天、甜},{湯、糖},{上海、傷害}. This might help the learner make remembering tones a prioity in his efforts to learn the language. For example, in a lesson with 20 new vocabulary words, perhaps there should be two pairs of ...


6

Here's an example of this sort of phenomenon: Syllables that begin with unaspirated stops b, d, g, or affricates j, zh, z, and end in a nasal n or ng, as a rule don’t have second-tone forms. Here's a more extensive explanation of how this came about


6

From a practical learner's point of view, treating the checked "tones" as shorter, closed syllables that carry the same tone as as tones 1, 3, 6 (and 2 in changed tone) would be enough. In modern Cantonese of the Pearl River Delta, there appears to be little to no difference in pitch between the non-checked and checked. In Taishanese, one of the checked ...


6

I suggest that you shouldn't do this. Chinese characters cannot be faithfully constructed backwards from a tone+syllable combination -- the mapping only goes one way (and even then, sometimes characters have multiple pronunciations). For example, as you know, 馬 is generally pronounced ma3. However, ma3 could also reference the characters 碼 (number), or 獁 ...


6

Yes it should be pronounced as the 2nd tone because it's put before character with the 4th tone. The sandhi rule applies with idioms too. The cases 一 should be pronounced as the 1st tone, i.e. shouldn't change the tone, are listed as the follows: 单独念时。如:一,一、二、三 用在一词或一句的末尾。如:统一祖国,唯一条件,单一成分,表里如一,不论三七二十一 表示年、月、日。如:1911年1月1日,一二•九运动,九•一八事变 表示序数。如:第一村,...


6

According to some researches there is a declination effect (pitch lowering) in Mandarin Chinese. Fundamental frequency (F0) of a speach is decreasing as a speach goes on, with greater downsteps of pitch at the beginning of phrase. In sequence of first tones, e.g. "老王蒸冬瓜" (...zhēng dōngguā) the first syllable [zhēng] has higher pitch then the last one [guā] ...


6

Short answer: Simply speaking, remove all the original tones of each character and follow the tune of the music. Yes it is hard to recognize if you never read the lyrics before, even for native speakers.


5

Similar as for words, tone sandhi also apply for 成语. So 一年四季 is pronounced as "yì nián sìjì", 一波三折 is pronounced as “yì bō sān zhé” and 一马当先 is pronounced as “yì mǎ dāng xiān”. 一触即发 however is pronounced “yí chù jí fā”.


5

(I'm not a native speaker of Chinese, but an avid musicologist and student of Chinese.) I've heard at least some Chinese pop music where the tones are certainly not obliterated, though I think it's reasonable to suppose this happens at least some of the time. My speculation however is that in general something more interesting and complicated happens ...


5

Like others have told you, you might be confused a little bit. First of all, while languages have words made of syllables, Chinese has characters where each character is a syllable. These syllables can be written using the Latin alphabet with some systems, Pinyin being the most common one. Syllables can have 5 different tones: high, rising, fall-rising, ...


5

There are three things going on here: 多 pronounced with a 2nd tone If you observe carefully, you may notice that all examples of 多 with 2nd tone occur when the following character is 4th tone. I believe this is an erroneous extension of the same rule for the characters "一" (yī) and "不" (bù), which both become 2nd tone when the following character is 4th ...


5

This rule is not so strict, as in my specification, we never pronounce 甲苯(methylbenzene),乙苯(ethylbenzene), 苯甲酸(acetic acid) in that fashion, though no ambiguity is produced, it is just weird and funny to pronounce so. However, for familiar words like 奶奶,姐姐, the other extreme is present, which is they are always pronounced as 21-5. (In my opinion, this is an ...


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