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Smoothie

how is wu pronounced?

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ala

No, there is no extra w in the sound wu. If there is, then lu will be lwu too. It is simply /u/.

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Quest
No, there is no extra w in the sound wu. If there is, then lu will be lwu too. It is simply /u/.

There is. Agree with HWnd.

Don't get too hung up on the pinyin spellings.

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ala
There is. Agree with HWnd.

Don't get too hung up on the pinyin spellings.

Please provide a reliable source stating there is a consonant w before /u/ in pinyin wu. I'm pretty sick of discussing to a wall.

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shibo77

Why is this topic stretching for so long?

a啊 o喔 e鹅 i衣 u乌 ü迂

i衣 = yi衣

u乌 = wu乌

ü迂 = yu迂

i=y

u=w

i u ü and yi wu yu are exactly the same.

i u and y w are exactly the same.

Read the appendices of your 新华字典Xinhua Character Dictionary.

-Shibo :mrgreen:

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Quest
Please provide a reliable source stating there is a consonant w before /u/ in pinyin wu. I'm pretty sick of discussing to a wall.

next time find a drill :wink: or try this :wall

:tong


http://hua.umf.maine.edu/Chinese/Language/Sound3b/3695zj.wav


http://hua.umf.maine.edu/Chinese/Language/Sound3d/3695ch.wav


http://hua.umf.maine.edu/Chinese/Language/Sound3d/3929ls.wav


http://hua.umf.maine.edu/Chinese/Language/Sound4a/4260jz.wav


http://hua.umf.maine.edu/Chinese/Language/Sound0a/600am.wav


http://hua.umf.maine.edu/Chinese/Language/Sound10b/10173hua.wav


http://hua.umf.maine.edu/Chinese/Language/Sound10e/10172clh.wav

btw, I agree that wu, w, u all have the same pronunciation --> similar to "woo"

agree with everything shibo said.

the following are for "yi" nothing like the english E


http://hua.umf.maine.edu/Chinese/Language/Sound0a/173jz.wav


http://hua.umf.maine.edu/Chinese/Language/Sound0b/173lz.wav


http://hua.umf.maine.edu/Chinese/Language/Sound0d/173ls.wav


http://hua.umf.maine.edu/Chinese/Language/Sound0e/173cl.wav

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ala
btw, I agree that wu, w, u all have the same pronunciation --> similar to "woo"

agree with everything shibo said.

Well that's what I have been saying all along! If u is wu, then lu is lwu. There is no glottal stop before the /u/ in Mandarin, so it sounds like there is a w consonant, but there isn't. Whereas many English vowel initials syllables are pronounced with an initial glottal stop like in olive or letter E.

In dialects like Wu, we have glottal stop and voiced h distinction: 医生的医 is glottal stop (sounds exactly like letter E, and romanized as i), and 移动的移 is voiced h (which gets romanized typically as yi). The Mandarin /i/ only exists in Shanghainese after a consonant, unlike Mandarin. Similarly for /flipped m/ (unrounded u).

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Quest
There is no glottal stop before the /u/ in Mandarin, so it sounds like there is a w consonant, but there isn't.

If there is no glottal stop, then it must have a w consonant?

乌 and 衣 are pronounced exactly the same in Cantonese as in Mandarin, btw, I always say them as wuu and yee.

As you said, the glottal stop in the English "ooo" and "E" would not sound right, because mandarin does not have it. so "wu" should be interpreted as close to "woo" and "yi" close to "yee". Listen to my sound files.

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Altair
I learnt about glottal stop from Arabic, but I don't really understand it. Is it just a breath of air being sucked in?

ARABIC

'ashara The ' is the glottal stop?

so I think glottal stop happens to all words with a vowel as the onset, right?

Shibo, There are two sounds in Arabic usually transliterated with signs like an apostrophe. One is 'Ayn, which is the initial sound in the words "'ashara" (meaning "ten") and "'arab" and the medial consonant in the words "ba'l" ("Baal") and "sa'uudiy" ("Saudi"). It is actually a pharyngeal vowel, but appears freely in every position that consonants can occupy in Arabic and never where only vowels can appear. It is pronounced almost like a voiced "h" sound and is enunciated at the location of the vocal cords. The sign used to transliterate this sign is usually an apostrophe that has the same curvature as a "(".

The other sound is the Hamza, or glottal stop. It is produced by closing the glottis, which is basically the part of the throat that initiates a cough. It appears before all initial vowels in Arabic, but also in the middle and end of words, such as "bi'r" ("well"), "sa'ala" ("to ask"), "ra'iis" ("president"), and "'iqra'" ("read!"). The sign used to transliterate this sign is usually an apostrophe that has the same curvature as a ")" (this is the opposite of the 'Ayn).

In most languages, glottal stops exist, but have a peripheral status. In English and Chinese they are used before some vowels when they occur at the beginning of an utterance. Most native speakers of such languages are not aware of them and merely think of them as part of the vowel or as a way to intiate a vowel. I do not recall hearing them in Mandarin before an "u" sound or a "yu" sound, but they seem to be usual before "i" and "a" when they begin an utterance.

Glottal stops exist in Cockney English as a standard replacement of the "t" sound in "bottle" (and similar words) and in some varieties of New York and New Jersey English before the syllabic "n" in words such as "button" or "Trenton."

In standard English, a glottal stop also occurs in some exclamations. For instance, there is a sound I do not know how to spell (perhaps, "uh oh") that is used to express recognition of mild danger. A glottal stop must occur before the second syllable (and generally also before the first syllable) in this expression. Native speakers are probably not aware of the glottal stop, but simply perceive it as silence or a shortening of the vowel.

Hawaiian has many glottal stops, since they derive from what is still a "k" in other Polynesian Islands. "A'a" is the standard term for a type of rocky lava, even in English, and should be pronounced with a glottal stop between two short "a" sounds. The apostrophe is often incorrectly left out in writing Hawaiian words and place names in English and so the pronunciation is often also altered. Some knowledgeable people pronounce the glottal stop, but most do not, e.g. "Hawai'i" vs. "Hawaii".

I think German distinguishes between pairs such as "verreisen" ("to travel") and "vereisen" ("to ice") where the second differs in pronunciation only by the addition of a glottal stop before the second syllable.

Glottal stops also occur in Chinese dialects that have lost final "p," "t," and "k," but still distinguish an "entering tone." These dialects use the glottal stop to cut the vowel sound short. This sound also is used in Cantonese as an emphatic way to end some of the final particles, where I have seen it spelled as a "k" in such particles as "lak". In Cantonese, I think you have the choice of pronouncing "la" (and similar particles) in three ways: with a longish vowel, with a regular vowel (probably, the norm), or with a vowel cut short by a glottal stop. I believe all three ways have different connotations and cannot be freely substituted for each other.

Ala mentioned that Mandarin words pronounced in isolation with the third tone end with a glottal stop. This is certainly my impression. This does not seem to be true of the other tones.

In English, sentence-initial vowels almost always begin with a glottal stop, but words never end with them to my knowledge. In French, I believe the opposite pattern occurs, where glottal stops are generally not used to begin vowels, but are usually used to end them at the end of an utterance.

Because of all this variation, I was curious as to what exactly happens in Mandarin. It would seem somewhat surprising that "i" and "u" (and "yu") are not treated in the same fashion within the language, since they each can stand as full vowels or as initial glides.

I hope this responds to your question.

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ala
If there is no glottal stop, then it must have a w consonant?

No, if there is no glottal stop, then you get the Mandarin and Cantonese wu (a pure /u/). It's still different from the English woo, although it doesn't sound at all like the English pronunciation for uber.

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benotnobody

ok, i'm guessing that a)someone has already posted this or B) this is horribly wrong, but here's my two cents...

I think "wu" is pronounced with a "w" sound, but the "u" is the dominant sound. however, its not pronounced like u: (eg女). kind of like in 一: the "y" is very soft.

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shibo77

In Beijing Guan (Mandarin):

Hanyu Pinyin may be misleading. But Hanyu Pinyin's "乌wu" is simply , which can also look like a bull's horns. Hanyu Pinyin's "衣yi" is simply . There are no "w- sound"[w-] nor "y- sound"[j-], nor any glottal stop[?]. The glottal stop may exist in other dialects of Guan (Mandarin).

-Shibo :mrgreen:

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Altair

The more I consider this question. The more unsatisfied I become with what I posted previously. I find it very strange that Mandarin has optional glottal stops before initial "i," "a," and "e," but not before "u."

Here is a new theory I have. Mandarin has many vowels that are almost "side effects" of the consonants that precede them. The ones I am thinking about are the special "i" sound that occurs in "zhi," "ri," etc. and the similar sound that occurs in "si" and maybe in "ci" and "zi." These "i" sounds are made with hardly any change in the shape of the vocal apparatus after the consonant is articulated.

Perhaps Pinyin "wu" is similar and results from the lips beginning to form a consonantal "w" and then simply sounding the vowel with no significant change in the lips or tongue. If this is correct, speakers could have the sense of pronouncing a consonant, which would preclude an glottal stop. Even though they would have the sense of beginning a consonant, they might in actuality be producing a single pure vowel sound. In other words, Pinyin "wu" might be like a syllabic "w" sound that is realized as a vowel, rather than as a sequence of "w" and "u."

Does this sound plausible?

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hp2008

Sorry for digging up an old post, but this Pinyin chart seems to confirm "wu" is pronounced without the glide (IPA: /u/, or "oo" instead of "woo"). The same applies to "yi" (IPA: /i/, or "ee" instead of "yee"):

 

https://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/pronunciation/Pinyin_chart

 

The output of this Chinese to IPA converter is /u:/ (long /u/) and /iː/ (long /i/) for Pinyin "wu" and "yi":

 

https://easypronunciation.com/en/chinese-pinyin-phonetic-transcription-converter#phonetic_transcription

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Demonic_Duck

From Wikipedia:

 

Quote

When a glide is followed by the vowel of which that glide is considered an allophone, the glide may be regarded as epenthetic (automatically inserted), and not as a separate realization of the phoneme. Hence the syllable yi, pronounced [ji], may be analyzed as consisting of the single phoneme /i/, and similarly yin may be analyzed as /in/, yu as /y/, and wu as /u/. It is also possible to hear both from the same speaker, even in the same conversation. For example, one may hear the number "one" 一; yī as either [jí] or [í].

 

Emphasis mine.

 

This is why you can have a 3-page debate about the pronunciation of a single sound. Turns out everyone's right (and also wrong). 😂

 

In any case, the presence or absence of the glide sounds is non-phonemic, both variations are found in native speakers, and (for learners) getting the vowel sounds just right is orders of magnitude more important than whether or not you use a slight glide.

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