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Jan Finster

More frequent use of neutral tones in natural speech

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Jan Finster

I was told that in everyday natural speech some words lose their tones and they are spoken in the (short) 5th tone. Are there any general rules as to which words this applies to?

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Publius

Verbs in reduplicated position: 隨便瞧

一 in V + 一 + V: 試

不 in "yes no yes": 好

個 as classifier: 一

Location words as post-position: 住在山

Second syllable in two-syllable kinship terms: 女

錢 qualified by a noun of purpose: 飯

是 as copula in the middle of a sentence: 我知道你誰啊?

Oh, there're too many... It's like asking for general rules governing English contraction. Better just copy what you hear.

  • Helpful 4

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Dawei3
14 hours ago, Publius said:

It's like asking for general rules governing English contraction. Better just copy what you hear.

I really like your posts because you point out things I say, but I don't realize it until you write them.  

 

E.g., 好不好.    I never thought of the 不 having a neutral tone in this phrase but I would naturally use a neutral tone.  

or 

是 as a copula...

 

I'm usually focused on trying to understand what people are saying as opposed to consciously listening for the tones they are using* , so your posts are very helpful.  

 

*unless they are teaching me a specific word or phrase

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abcdefg
On 5/10/2019 at 3:39 AM, Jan Finster said:

I was told that in everyday natural speech some words lose their tones and they are spoken in the (short) 5th tone. Are there any general rules as to which words this applies to?

 

This also depends to some extent on where you live. In Kunming, where I live, many words and parts of words take on a (falling) fourth tone in fast conversation even though a dictionary calls for them to have other tones in order to be proper 标准。

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