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Topics in Chinese Linguistics: Introduction to Chinese

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1 Topics in Chinese Linguistics: Introduction to Chinese
Unit 3: Pronunciation – Phonetics and Phonology

2 What is Phonetics and Phonology?
Phonetics: Study of sounds of human languages. Sounds of human languages have physiological and physical characteristics. Phonology: Study of sound system of a specific language. Chinese phonology, English phonology – a phonological system of a specific language. It is social.

3 Physical characteristics
Sound wave Frequency or pitch Intensity or volume Length or time Can be measured by instruments and can be “seen” (spectrograph, computer)

4 Tones of Mandarin Chinese

5 Vocal Organs

6 How human sounds are classified
Place of articulation Lip Tongue Teeth, alveolar Palate velum Uvula Nasal cavity Manner of articulation Stop Fricative Affricate Nasal Aspiration Voiced/voiceless

7 Chinese Consonants in Pinyin

8 Chinese Vowels in Pinyin

9 Chinese tones Names of tones 陰平/陽平/上聲/去聲
Yin Ping, Yang Ping, Shang Sheng, Qu Sheng high level, high rising, falling-rising, high falling

10 Notations Musical notes Tone markers: ā á ǎ à
Numerical notation: 55, 35, 214, 51

11 Segmental vs supra-segmental
Segmental: consonants, vowels, diphthongs a, o, i, b, d, g, p, t, k, ao, ai, ei… Supra-segmental: stress, tone, intonation

12 IPA

13 English Chinese book shū [buk] [u] teacher lǎoshī [ti:t ] [lau ]

14 Phones and phonemes Phoneme Phone Allophone
Smallest phonological unit which makes distinctions in meaning in a specific language Phone Each individual sound Allophone Sounds which are distinct but similar and do not make distinctions in meaning

15 Comparison of English and Chinese consonants
[b] peak speak beak [p’] [p] [b] /p/ /b/ pa 怕 ba 爸 ? [p’] [p] /p’/ /p/

16 Letters vs phonemic notations
English letters IPA teacher, good /ti:t/, /gud/ Pinyin IPA lǎoshī, hǎo /lau/, /hau/

17 Phonological features of Chinese
Chinese language is syllabic. Chinese is tonal. A syllable has maximum of four sounds. A syllable has no more than two consonants or there are no consonant clusters such as sp, sl, cl, scr. Number of syllables is limited.

18 tiān Syllable structure Tone Initial Final Medial Main vowel
Syllabic ending 声调,声母,韵母,韵头,韵腹,韵尾

19 Tone Sandhi (Tone change)
nǐhǎo=>níhǎo 3+3=>2+3 1=>2 _/ yī: kuài=> yí kuài 1=>4 elsewhere yī zhāng=>yì zhān yī tiáo=>yì tiáo yī jiǎo=>yì jiǎo

20 Chinese Phonology How were Chinese characters represented in ancient times BoPoMoFo Pinyin and other notation systems Historical phonological change

21 读若 ‘read as’ method (pronounced as, using homophone characters)
‘珝’, 讀若‘許’ ‘倚’,讀若‘以’ ‘ 誕’,音‘但’ Problems: 1. Impossible to find a character of the same pronunciation. Then the character of similar pronunciation is used which is not accurate. 2. The homophone characters are rare characters. Their pronunciation is not popular and known to all.

22 Fǎqiē method 反切 Select two characters. Combine the initial of the first character with the final (with tone) of the second character. Example: “土”(tǔ) 他魯切 formula: tǔ= t(ā)+(l)ǔ “冬”(dōng) 都宗切 formula: dōng=d(ū)+(z)ōng

23 Zhuyin fuhao 注音符号 (1913, ROC)
土 t + ǔ ㄊ(t) ㄨ(u) 天 t + i+ ān ㄊ(t) ㄧ(i) ㄣ(ān) 窗 chuāng ch + u + āng ㄔㄨㄤ

24 Hanyu Pinyin (1956, PRC) 土 tǔ 天 tiān 窗 chuāng

25 Other systems Wade-Gile 威妥瑪 (1912) GR Gwoyeu Romatzyh 國語羅馬字 (1928)
Latinxua Sinwenz 拉丁化新文字 (1930) Yale 耶魯 (1948)

26 Various notations of 謝 Zhuyin ㄒ一ㄝ Pinyin xie Wade-Gile hsieh GR shieh
Yale sye Tongyong sie

27 Historical change 江雪 柳宗元 Modern Mandarin Classical
江雪 柳宗元 Modern Mandarin Classical 千山鳥飛絕,Qiān shān niǎo fēi jué zik 萬徑人蹤滅。Wàn jìng rén zōng miè mik 孤舟簑笠翁,Gū zhōu suò lì wēng ong 獨釣寒江雪。Dú diào hán jiāng xuě sik

28 Review questions 1. Is the distinction of consonants and vowels as same that of initials and finals? 2. How to classify the sounds? What are initials, finals, medials, main vowel and syllabic ending in Chinese phonology? 2. Are b, d, g in Pinyin voiced sounds? 3. What makes tones different? The change of pitch? Itensity or Duration? 4. In what way the four tones are represented? 5. How many sounds at most does a syllable have in Putonghua? 6. What is tone sandhi? Can you give some examples? 7. What is the major difference between Pinyin and BoPoMoFo? 8. Which is better? Pinyin or BoPoMoFo? 9. In the old times, how did people to represent the sounds of characters? 10. Why some old poems do not rhyme when it is read in modern Chinese?

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