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12 votes
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Bigrams ending in third tone where first syllable is second tone vs. third tone

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 (...
wpt's user avatar
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9 votes
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Is there research regarding the link between Chinese tones and musical intervals?

五度标记法 (five level tone mark, labeled 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, roughly do re mi fa so)is similar to intervals. It was invented by Zhao Yuanren in the 1920s. It's considered inaccurate, but almost always, at ...
lilysirius's user avatar
  • 4,485
8 votes

How can we translate the term "tone sequence"?

Only the first one is correct (聲調輪廓), as a jargon used in linguistics. The second one is a (bad) word-for-word translation of tone (音調) + contour (曲綫).
dROOOze's user avatar
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8 votes
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On Linux, how do I output Chinese Characters (not pinyin) using tones in the input

Try using Terra-Pinyin (地球拼音) which runs on rime (中州韻) which runs on either ibus or fcitx. It allows you to input using "-" to represent 1st tone, "/" to represent 2nd tone, ">" to represent 3rd tone, ...
ZerGreenOne's user avatar
7 votes
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How are consecutive neutral tones pronounced? What are the pitch levels?

Zhang and Yang (2007:97) has an interesting remark on consecutive neutral tones within certain three-character words (三字組詞): 輕聲若同時出現在三字組詞的後兩個音節上,第二個音節的輕聲調型要根據第一音節的聲調變化,如同二字組的輕聲音節;但第三個輕聲音節一律都讀得短低,調型向下,...
L Parker's user avatar
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7 votes

Is the number 4 really considered unlucky because it sounds similar to the word for "death"?

"...if 四 is "unlucky" merely because it sounds "similar" to 死, what makes it especially different from those 53 characters?" My speculation, and too long for the Comment ...
Wayne Cheah's user avatar
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6 votes
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words where it is important to distinguish between the neutral tone and the citation tone

Zhang and Yang (2007:84-89) describe several instances where pronunciations in the neutral tone and the citation tone of a word may coexist: When contrasting polysemy (辨義). Usually, the neutral tone ...
L Parker's user avatar
  • 5,605
6 votes

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

I think there are two different ways to read the first part of your question: 1. Do children learn how to say words with the appropriate tones prior to going to school? 2. Are children explicitly ...
Michael Foland's user avatar
6 votes
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How modern Chinese singing works if Chinese has tones

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 ...
xbh's user avatar
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6 votes
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Do native English speakers naturally speak in the 4th tone?

I don't know how native English speakers feel, but my perception is that words like "hard" "luck" are close to the fourth tone when you read them alone. An interesting fact is that even the tones are ...
Toosky Hierot's user avatar
6 votes

What is the meaning of the tone numbers shown in Wiktionary's Mandarin pronunciation?

They represent tone height on a scale from 1-5, with one being the lowest and 5 the highest. Thus, a full third tone would be transcribed as 214 (starting quite low, falling, then rising up again), ...
Olle Linge's user avatar
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6 votes
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jiu3 pronounced as jiu4 ; linked speech feature or slip of the tongue?

jiu3 pronounced as jiu4 It is very prominently pronounced with a descending glissando. It is a distinct 4th tone, phonetically. This is not true. Tone 4 is high and descending. It has no turning up, ...
lilysirius's user avatar
  • 4,485
5 votes

How can I improve my tonal range?

There is data on this matter. http://www.zainea.com/f0_m%26f.pdf present data showing that English speakers who study Mandarin typically use more tonal range in Mandarin than in English but ...
Colin McLarty's user avatar
5 votes
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In which pitches do I pronounce several first tones in a sequence?

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 ...
Ivan Gerasimenko's user avatar
5 votes
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Pronunciation/tones for hug (擁抱): yong1 bao4 or yong3 bao4?

Liang'an (兩岸) gives the Taiwanese Mandarin (國語) pronunciation as: yǒngbào yong3 bao4 while noting the mainland Mandarin (普通话) pronunciation as being: yōngbào yong1 bao4 Unless you're ...
Mou某's user avatar
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5 votes
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Does pronunciation of a vowel change with tones?

First, it is important to distinguish between the phonemic pronunciation and the phonetic pronunciation. The first represents how native speakers interpret sounds, the latter interpret how the sounds ...
Alan Evangelista's user avatar
5 votes
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Bù kèqi or Bú kèqi: In PinYin, do I write the fourth or second tone with 不客气?

That depends on why you are writing it. The standard, normal way of writing it is to disregard the changed tone and write the original tone, i.e. bù kèqi. The same goes for tone changes of 一 (yī). ...
Olle Linge's user avatar
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5 votes
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How do natives pronounce the 2nd tone in regular conversation? (Pitch levels: 35, 33, or 434?)

A tone may, upon certain instances, take on a pitch different from its classic pitch. That is to say, while a pitch is absolute (in sound frequency), a tone is not. 中餐 may change from the classic ...
L Parker's user avatar
  • 5,605
5 votes

Have these two words 牵 and 千, 感 and 敢 the same tone?

Yes, they have the same pronunciation in Mandarin, including the tone. For questions like these, checking a dictionary would have given you the right answer immediately.
Olle Linge's user avatar
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5 votes
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Hakka (Sixian dialect) issue: some characters with a rising tone (上聲)

This is a feature of certain Hakka varieties, but there is some controversy. Jerry Norman's 1986 work "What is a 客家 Kèjiā Dialect?" puts it thus: To determine whether a dialect is Kèjiā or ...
Michaelyus's user avatar
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5 votes
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Why is the first tone less common after m, n, r, l?

If you look up the tones for a random Chinese dialect, you'll probably see a chart like this that demonstrates the relationship between the dialect's tones and MC's tones: This one is for Modern ...
Stumpy Joe Pete's user avatar
4 votes
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How to pronounce 调 in 同调代数?

同调 pronounces as: tóng diào, see reference. (1) [same tone]∶音调相同 (2) [person with same common purpose or taste]∶比喻志趣或主张相同的人
Wang Zong'an's user avatar
4 votes

How to pronounce the Mandarin third tone

In isolation, any third-tone character should indeed properly be pronounced falling, then rising. In the five-level scale that is common in specifying tones for tonal languages, the typical ...
Brian Tung's user avatar
4 votes
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Can I communicate without changing tones?

I've been also curious about this and I think this could easily be a research topic. Chinese people often happen to understand me even when my tones are flat, and I highlight that they understand me a ...
donnadulcinea's user avatar
4 votes
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How do I pronounce romanised Chinese names which lack tone marks?

As a native speaker, this is what I do in such a case: If my listener is not Chinese, does not know Chinese, or I am speaking in an event that doesn't require my listener(s) to know Chinese - I ...
bfrguci's user avatar
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4 votes
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How to hear tones in speech better

It will come with more exposure. Watch movies/shows, listen to music, talk with people via voice-chat or in person. One of the ways I trained myself to recognize the tones is to listen to the same ...
milk's user avatar
  • 320

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