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Is the word Huawei a pentaphtong?

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    Short answer--no. But whether something is a whatever-thong is language-dependent. You should include the language (Mandarin?) in the question. And what makes you think it might be a 'pentaphthong'? – musicallinguist Sep 16 '14 at 14:53
  • It looks like Pinyin indeed, so Mandarin, but it'd be good to specify it anyways. Please expand on your question. :) – Alenanno Sep 16 '14 at 14:57
  • @musicallinguist: It has five vowel sounds togheter. – sergiol Sep 16 '14 at 15:06
  • OP may be asking about the word in English. As a proper noun for a big electronics company it's uttered by millions of non Mandarin speakers every day all over the world. – hippietrail Sep 18 '14 at 0:04
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    @sergiol: On internet forums OP means "original poster". In this thread that means you (-: – hippietrail Sep 18 '14 at 0:42
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I assume you mean 华为; unsimplified 華為; pinyin Huáwéi. This word consists of two syllables, with a diphthong in the first syllable and a triphthong in the second syllable; whatever-phthongs are always within the same syllable. So in this case 2 + 3 does not equal 5.

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  • The acute accents make more clear that Huá- and -wéi are separate syllables – sergiol Sep 16 '14 at 22:27
  • w- is always syllable-initial in Pinyin. The non-initial spelling for the coda /uei/ is –ui. – fdb Sep 16 '14 at 22:31
  • So, is it spelt uá-uí? – sergiol Sep 16 '14 at 22:45
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    Knowing nothing of Mandarin I had always assumed the second syllable had initial /w/. What happens at hiatus between the two syllables? Can someone provide a phonetic representation of the word, thanks? – Gaston Ümlaut Sep 17 '14 at 9:53
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    @GastonÜmlaut I would have answered your question earlier if I could get this site to accept proper phonological notation, but I have not found a way to do so. In hua, the u is a non-syllablic glide and a is a full vowel. In wei you have the full vowel e preceded by an onglide (non-syllabic u) and followed by an offglide (non-syllabic i). The acute accents are tone markers. – fdb Sep 18 '14 at 9:20

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