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Ming Dai

More words with 3rd tones

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Ming Dai


When a sentence has 3 words with 3rd tones (wo3 ye3 xiang3) does it changes to wo2 ye2 xiang3? and what happens if a sentence has more than 3?

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It becomes very complicated.

According to Wikipedia


The results may depend on word boundaries, stress, and dialectal variations. General rules for three-syllable third-tone combinations can be formulated as follows:

  1. If the first word is two syllables and the second word is one syllable, then the first two syllables become second tones. For example, bǎoguǎn hǎo takes the pronunciation báoguán hǎo [pau̯˧˥ku̯an˧˥xau̯˨˩˦].
  2. If the first word is one syllable, and the second word is two syllables, the second syllable becomes second tone, but the first syllable remains third tone. For example: lǎo bǎoguǎn takes the pronunciation lǎo báoguǎn [lau̯˨˩pau̯˧˥ku̯an˨˩˦].

Once on another forum, someone asked how everybody enunciates the sentence "李小姐有点勉强把美酒与死老鼠往嘴里挤". No two answers (given by native speakers) were identical.

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Welcome to the forums! Here's a recent thread which you may find helpful.

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