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How to pronounce 小姐?


mirgcire
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"bu4ke3yi4" may help you pronounce this correctly,

Well, I need no aid to pronounce anything correctly, I can pronounce it as either bu4ke3yi3- hence bu4ke2yi3 and I can pronounce it as bu4ke3yi4.

Maybe you're right in that what I'm saying/ hearing is the rise at the end of the e in the ke2 and the fall of the y3 in the yi3, and this is sounding like a "half fourth" as I mentioned before, so that's a possibility seeing as the y in yi and the e in ke have a similar vowel sound and these are getting mashed into ke3yi4 instead of ke2yi3.

Either way, as I mentioned before, I've heard both said-- I think it's clearer when people say it calmly, and it's probably always more mashed when said quickly and angrily, which is why it's possible to hear it as ke3yi4 instead of ke2yi3, and also why I've never been corrected.

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Maybe you're right in that what I'm saying/ hearing is the rise at the end of the e in the ke2 and the fall of the y3 in the yi3, and this is sounding like a "half fourth" as I mentioned before

If you'll excuse me, I do think this is you hearing things funny. You wouldn't be the first to make a similar mistake.

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I'm pretty sure that I've never heard bu4ke3yi4 spoken.

The fourth tone starts very high and has a very quick fall. In the cases of 2nd tone followed by a neutral tone such as 朋友, there is a slight perceived drop of pitch after the second tone, but this is not a fourth tone. It's the neutral tone. I suspect that your wife is using it, but you're not used to it and don't detect it.

Compare 努力 or 马上 with 可以. If anyone pronounces this with the same tonal pattern, then they definitely have an accent.

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I agree with the above posts. It probably just sounds like a 4th tone since it has to dip somewhat after the preceding 2nd tone. That said, I have noticed many Taiwanese Mandarin speakers sometimes seem to use an odd sort of staccato stress pattern when they're trying to emphasise something, which can make everything sound like it's 4th tone. Does anyone know what I mean? 黑米公主 seems to do this occasionally too, if anyone's familiar with her podcasts.

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@renzhe: Yep, that must be the case. The third tone can be deceptive for learners, especially when it's unstressed.

@jiangping: Yeah that's the "choppiness" of the southern-style accent coming through.

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On the other hand, I'm not sure it is worth adding more rules to pinyin just for this one case. I mean, people can't even get the rule for the apostrophe correct, and that's really simple.

That's absolutely true :) But what's happening now is that people tell you you're wrong when you indicate the pronunciation of 老虎 as láohu, or the pronunciation of 可以 as kéyi. I once had a native speaker of Mandarin insist to me that 可以 was not pronounced as kéyi, which is how I'd romanised it in a text message, but rather as kěyi. She was quite surprised when I then pronounced it putting a third tone on the first syllable, telling me that no one would pronounce the word like that. She'd never thought about this, of course, since she was a native speaker, and it's never going to be a problem for them anyway. Just like the apostrophe, indicating tone sandhi would mainly be beneficial for learners. Even if it's unrealistic to expect to see this outside of dictionaries and textbooks, it'd help a bit to make learning Mandarin easier. It's difficult enough already ;)

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I'm afraid I have to see that as more evidence that you can't be trusted on tones. Not that I'd be any better, but I'm perhaps more circumspect about telling people how things are pronounced.

I'm not telling anyone how things are pronounced, I was just pointing out the odd anomolies which I personally hear and find in certain phrases which I think are strange. I even pointed out that I thought I was probably wrong in several posts and that I have heard ke2yi3 too- simply in "slower" speech.

renzhe, also, as I mentioned before, I really dont see or think of the yi4 at the end of bu4ke3yi3 as a "full fourth" so to speak, but as a much softer version of a fourth. Of course, 努力 or 马上 are indeed pronounced differently- singnificantly so.

I have noticed many Taiwanese Mandarin speakers sometimes seem to use an odd sort of staccato stress pattern when they're trying to emphasise something, which can make everything sound like it's 4th tone. Does anyone know what I mean?

This is interesting, and as I mentioned before, when spoken at a "normal speed" a lot of words retain their "original" or "intended" pronunciation. I think that when it's shouted at a kid who is about to break a mirror in a shop "bu4ke3yi4" seems to appear, but when speaking to a dog or cat who is digging their nails in slightly, the calm responce to this situation where there is no need for urgency or speed spoken "bu4ke3yi3" is what I hear.. or indeed "bu4ke3yi".

Also, if it's a qingsheng which I'm hearing which does have some kind of slightly fourth tone quality, then that's why I would identify it as strange, and possibly as different from a "normal fourth".

Speed of speech is also responsible for a lot of the loss of the raise at the end of the 3rd tone which dissapears in a very large amount of cases.

TBH, I dont mind even if I'm "getting it wrong" because I've never been told I've been speaking wrong, and I've never heard anything wrong, I always understand what is spoken (provided I understand the phrase or word!!).

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Wish I could edit this in, but I cant, so here's my opionion on this in Mandarin as a spoken sound file.

Bare in mind this is how I speak every day and I haven't put my thought into any of what I've said, simply because I dont have time or can be bothered to come up with loads of clearly led examples.

Listen to my bukeyi and decide for yourself.. is it that I am actually saying a neautral tone "yi" without knowing it, and that's why it sounds a little like a 4th tone to me?

Let me know.

bukeyi.wma

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This is interesting, and as I mentioned before, when spoken at a "normal speed" a lot of words retain their "original" or "intended" pronunciation. I think that when it's shouted at a kid who is about to break a mirror in a shop "bu4ke3yi4" seems to appear

That could be possible.

I read somewhere (I'm not 100% sure, but it might have been in "A Basic Grammar and Workbook" by Yip Po-Ching and Don Rimmington) that army commands in Chinese, such as counting steps and words like "halt" and so on are all shouted in the fourth tone, regardless of what the original tone is.

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Listen to my bukeyi and decide for yourself.. is it that I am actually saying a neautral tone "yi" without knowing it, and that's why it sounds a little like a 4th tone to me?

I don't think I've ever heard anyone pronounce 不可以 the way you do the first two times - it sounds very unnatural/contrived.

But the way you pronounce it thereafter, your usual pronunciation, sounds normal. However, the 以 is definitely not a fourth tone of any description.

What you're hearing, and saying, is a half-third tone (半上; with a tone contour of 211), not a half fourth tone (of which there are two: 53 and 31, as in 意義 where 意 travels from 5 to 3, and 義 the remaining 3 to 1; or 作業, etc, etc)

See No. 1. under the "Tone sandhi rules at a glance" here.

Now, just for fun, anyone (except carlo and chrix) want to suggest the tone sandhi and final tone contours for the following two phrases?

1. 打死老虎

2. 洗冷水澡

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Now, just for fun, anyone (except carlo and chrix) want to suggest the tone sandhi and final tone contours for the following two phrases?

1. 打死老虎

2. 洗冷水澡

I'd say:

1. dá sĭ láo hŭ

2. xĭ léng shúi zăo

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Wish I could edit this in, but I cant, so here's my opionion on this in Mandarin as a spoken sound file.

Bare in mind this is how I speak every day and I haven't put my thought into any of what I've said, simply because I dont have time or can be bothered to come up with loads of clearly led examples.

Listen to my bukeyi and decide for yourself.. is it that I am actually saying a neautral tone "yi" without knowing it, and that's why it sounds a little like a 4th tone to me?

Let me know.

So how about you put some thought in it so it will at least help us identify what exactly your point is.

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Thanks Muji for the feedback.. in terms of your little quiz:

1. 打死老虎

2. 洗冷水澡

I would say:

2323 for 打死老虎, and 3223 for 洗冷水澡

The reason for this is because

I consider da2si3 (da3si3) and lau2hu3 (lau3hu3) as seperated commonly spoken "words" almost seperated from each other. The same thing with 洗冷水澡-- because I'm used to saying leng2shui3 as a single word-- "cold water"-- I'd apply the sandhi and tone adjustments around this. The reason for the 2 on the shui part of the leng2shui3 section, therefore is because the character of 澡 after obviously is 3rd tone, so you have to apply sandhi to the shui3.

I'd apply different rules to 冷水洗脚 (2323) because I consider 冷水 and 洗脚 as seperate words and seperated activities.. that said, I dont know if anything that I've said actually makes any sense.. plus I think that some of those tones would be half 3rd tones, therefore would be "in between".

If my answer is right or ambiguous, then I can post up a sample of myself making the pronunciation.

Xiao cai- considering that Muji already agreed with me that the way I pronounce bu4ke3yi3 is correct, according to his ear, then that's fine by me, I dont need a long winded explaination, though I have actually already given one.

Let me explain my position on this fully then, seeing as you want to know my full thoughts:

I think what is happening is that I'm applying a half third tone to the ke3 in the phrase, making the ke3 a sandhi word (basically making it a ke2). Following that, I'm saying "yi3". However, because of the rise of the ke2, and therefore the following fall of the yi3, it sounds to my brain like ke3yi4.

I know that it's not (everyone has told me it's not- not just you guys but native speakers, my wife and friends and teachers), but that's how it's filed in my brain. Since I DIDN'T learn what the tones of these seperate words were FIRST, I learned to SAY the phrase first, I wasn't aware of the fact that the tone sandhi was making me think that the yi3 sounds like an yi4 (to me).

Of course, this fact never affects me- people say it to me, and those around me, and I say it to people, and an eyelid is never blinked or an eyebrow raised. That's because what I'm saying is correct.

So basically speaking, the yi3 in the phrase still sounds a bit to me like a 4th tone sound, but it doesn't matter, it's just a matter of interest.

I think there are other people who would agree with me too- that sometimes sandhied words take on an interesting aspect.

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Shi Tong, I don't want to keep banging on about this, but you've gone from

Combine all of this with some really odd ones like the pronunciation of "mei2guan1xi", which is always "mei2guan1xi1" as far as I can hear and "bu4ke3yi3" which is always pronounced as "bu4ke3yi4".

to

I really dont see or think of the yi4 at the end of bu4ke3yi3 as a "full fourth" so to speak, but as a much softer version of a fourth.

to

the yi3 in the phrase still sounds a bit to me like a 4th tone sound, but it doesn't matter, it's just a matter of interest.

If you'd given it a bit more thought and arrived at the final position by yourself you could have saved quite a few people quite a bit of typing.

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@Daan,

You might be interested to know that in her expanded addition of the "Lady in the Painting", Claudia Ross has chosen to indicate tone sandhi in the pinyin portions of the text.

http://www.amazon.co...s/dp/030012516X

From the Introduction:

"To guide learner's in the pronunciation, tone changes that occur within the boundary of a single word are written into the pinyin tone spelling of the word."

So here is at least one teacher who seems to agree that reflecting pinyin tone changes is helpful to learners.

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Of course, this fact never affects me- people say it to me, and those around me, and I say it to people, and an eyelid is never blinked or an eyebrow raised. That's because what I'm saying is correct.

The fact that no one corrects you, alas, does not imply that what you say is correct. This is a sad fact of life -- feedback in language learning (and other endeavors) is unreliable and inconsistent at best.

Anyway, it may sound like a 4th tone to you, and it may sound like a Yoruba mid tone to me, but since it doesn't to anybody else, we're not helping anyone I'm afraid.

Neutral tone is called "neutral" because its pitch depends totally on the previous tone. So kéyi sounds more like 35-3. It's the final dip that probably makes you think of the 4th tone. However, full tones have many other characteristics that tell them apart from neutral tones, like length, shape of vowel etc. And they are lexical tones -- ie they do not change all the time, and do not follow sentence intonation to the extent of becoming indistinguishable from other tones.

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