12

Here's a paper that's addressed a similar phenomenon of the different realizations of /θ/ between Cantonese and Sichuanese speakers, both of which are dialects of Chinese and share similar phonetic inventories. The paper conducted production and perception comparisons between Cantonese and Sichuanese native speakers as to explore the reason for different ...


9

Tone actually is phonemic in Mandarin. For example, it is the only thing that distinguishes dā "to hang over", dá "to answer", dǎ "to beat" and dà "big". There are very many other examples. That is what it means to be "phonemic". There is a completely different question about whether tone is "absolutely ...


9

This is a great question without a clear answer. People have struggled to find the answer since the 1970s: Here is my 2002 paper with many references listed in Appendix A. See also my dissertation on the topic. There are many cases of two languages or two dialects with the same or similar phonological inventories (the same phonemes), which substitute ...


9

I don't think it's a regional question. Mandarin b,d,g may often be realized with voicing, but the key distinction is aspirated vs. unaspirated. Here is a lab study of the voicing profiles of Mandarin and German. This comparison with German stops sums it up: “Phonologically, all Mandarin stop consonants are voiceless; /p,t,k/ are aspirated, /b,d,g/ are ...


7

Much of the following answer comes from this 1999 study, as well as Cheng (2009), and some of my own experiences. Let's first get the usual suspects that identify Cantonese-accented Mandarin as a southern accent out of the way: lack of retroflex consonants. This is a given, merging them into their alveolar (and not palatal) counterparts. Hypercorrection is ...


5

You might want to check out this page http://sealang.net/thai/chinese/middle.htm which indeed claims that the word is related to 要. เอา Prapin gloss: to want Prapin: 606 (class 1) Chinese gloss: idem   Karlgren: 1142a   Big5: 要 (1) yao1 {yao4} (0) yao4 yao3 {yao1} (1) [1] [v] invite; request the presence of [2] [v] engage; date; make ...


4

In Thai language tone is ALWAYS preserved when singing, some of the most exceptionally composed pieces will even use this to their advantage by applying a a lyric that will in turn producing a pleasing melody which add dimensions to the existing song. From what I heard, there are about 3 generations of a class of music currently employ in Thai language. ...


4

Probably Yale. It's rarely seen nowadays. Wikipedia says The Yale romanization of Mandarin was developed in 1943 by the Yale sinologist George Kennedy to help prepare American soldiers to communicate with their Chinese allies on the battlefield. Rather than try to teach recruits to interpret the standard romanization of the time for Mandarin, the Wade–...


3

Even spoken in a robot-like tone in which all the four tones are reduced to a single one, it's still not difficult for a Mandarin speaker to understand the meaning of the utterance (provided the utterance is not too short so we can get enough context).


3

As pointed out, Egyptian hieroglyphs employed certain symbols as semantic determinants, which though phonologically mute and often redundant would help the reader figure out which concept was intended. There seem to be plenty of available details online about this (Wikipedia, etc.) so I won't go into it. The other well-known "hieroglyphic" writing system, ...


3

Leaving the broader question about copulas to one side here. Po and Rimmington’s ‘Chinese: A Comprehensive Grammar’ (Routledge) has a good explanation for why ‘我好’ is not a well-formed answer to ‘你好嗎?’ (which I’m guessing is the context.) Having the predicative adjective unmarked implies a contrast, ‘I’m good (but not him!)’. A degree adverb like 很 is ...


3

There's no rule that says Mandarin unaspirated stops CAN'T be voiced. The point is that there are no minimal pairs between voiced and unvoiced unaspirated stops. The actual phonetic realization- in particular, the voice onset time- can and will vary by speaker, dialect, time, circumstance, etc.


3

I understand your question as asking about tone-collocations on syllables which contain at least three pitch-height elements. I do not understand your basis for excluding Yoruba. One reason might be that underlyingly Yoruba has just H M L, and contours result from rules; but the other is that rise and fall in Yoruba clearly decompose into H and L on a single ...


2

I've seen the claim that when it comes to tonal contours, contour tonal languages "select from as many categories as possible" (Routledge Linguistics Encyclopedia). They posit the four basic tonal shapes as: level, rising, falling and convex/concave; naturally, standard Mandarin's four tones fit into one of each of these. However, this is noticeably absent ...


2

As someone with a knowledge of Japanese, when I was studying Mandarin I found I had a distinct advantage over my English-only-speaking peers on several fronts: The use of classifiers (mentioned by @Yellow Sky) The use of sentence-final particles (also mentioned by @Yellow Sky) Constructions using the -de (的) particle, which result in a word order that is ...


2

What can be difficult is highly personal and mother-tongue-dependent, so let me mention just two features of Chinese that seem hard to master, as for me. Classifiers can pose a difficulty, since they are not used in European languages, they are an areal feature of East Asian languages, and there are many and many dozens of them in Chinese. Now there is a ...


2

I think this is caused by the existing transliteration rules for writing Hindi words in Roman letters. The Hindi letter थ (/t̪ʰ/) is written as th when writing Hindi words in Roman letters. For example: थोडा is written as thoda which means 'less', and a name आदिनाथ is written as Adinath. But स (/s/) transliterates to s. Eg: सब - sab which means 'all'. Also, ...


2

Quoting the paper you link: A particular sound which does not exist in the native language can therefore pose a difficulty for the second language learners to produce or some times to try to substitute those sounds with similar ones in their mother tongue. These sounds include both vowels and consonants. For example, there are no vowels like /æ/, /au/, and /...


1

"I am calling a verb in a serial verb construction that is not the "head" one a coverb." I would prefer that you didnt do that, coverbs in Mandarin are words that function similarly to prepositions in English. If by "not the head verb" you are refering to verbs such as 会, 可以, 得, etc. then those should be refered ro as auxiliary ...


1

There may be a difference between what an author writes as "ai" versus "aj", but this is usually a substitute for the difference between a sequence of vowels in different syllables versus a vowel plus high front vocoid in the same syllable. The difference could be written as [ai] versus [a.i], but writing syllable boundaries is not a popular option ...


1

It's not very different at all. I'd say the difference is much smaller than the difference between say Spanish in Spain and Chilean Spanish, which have undergone 500 years of evolution after all. Yet they are still classified as both Spanish and certainly people from both countries would understand each other's written texts. The separation of China (the end ...


1

I found a paper from 2002 ("j-pinyin: A New Systematic Approach to the Japanese Transcription of Chinese Syllables," by Jin-Hua SHE, Shumei CHEN, Sumio OHNO and Hiroyuki KAMEDA) that says that at that time, there was no general standard for transcribing modern Chinese into Japanese; it proposes the titular system which you can see described in the paper. I ...


1

(note: this answer is not complete, I am not a linguist and I have no personal knowledge of Chinese. I hope it is still of some use despite this.) I have found several sources that say that resyllabification does not occur in Mandarin Chinese. However, it is possible that they are just making general statements, and not mentioning some rare examples. ...


1

Cholin 2010 ("Do syllables exist"), Chen, Chen & Dell (2002) ("Word-form encoding in Mandarin Chinese as assessed by the implicit priming task") claim there is not. Duanmu (1992: dissertation) claims that onsets are obligatory, so C#V resyllabification would not arise. However, he notes p. 18 that there are "weak interjection syllables" which allow C-V ...


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