A report on Tone (linguistics)

Six Tones of Vietnamese
Vietnamese tones ngang "flat" tone, huyền "deep" tone or "falling" tone (À), sắc "sharp" or "rising" tone (Á), nặng "heavy" or "down" tone (Ạ), hỏi "asking" tone (Ả), ngã "tumbling" tone (Ã)
The tone contours of Standard Chinese. In the convention for Chinese, 1 is low and 5 is high. The corresponding tone letters are.

Use of pitch in language to distinguish lexical or grammatical meaning – that is, to distinguish or to inflect words.

- Tone (linguistics)
Six Tones of Vietnamese

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Overall

Mandarin Chinese

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Group of Sinitic languages and dialects that are natively spoken across most of northern and southwestern China.

Group of Sinitic languages and dialects that are natively spoken across most of northern and southwestern China.

Mandarin Chinese is not listed in the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger. It is classified as being safe from endagerment.
A page of the Menggu Ziyun, covering the syllables tsim to lim
Zhongguo Guanhua (中國官話), or Medii Regni Communis Loquela ("Middle Kingdom's Common Speech"), used on the frontispiece of an early Chinese grammar published by Étienne Fourmont (with Arcadio Huang) in 1742
Distribution of the eight subgroups of Mandarin plus Jin Chinese, which many linguists include as part of Mandarin, according to the Language Atlas of China (1987)

Most Mandarin varieties have four tones.

Traditional Chinese syllable structure

Varieties of Chinese

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Branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family consisting of hundreds of local varieties, many of which are not mutually intelligible.

Branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family consisting of hundreds of local varieties, many of which are not mutually intelligible.

Traditional Chinese syllable structure
A school in Guangdong with writing "Please speak Standard Chinese. Please write standard characters" on the wall.

All have phonemic tones, with northern varieties tending to have fewer distinctions than southern ones.

Ancient Chinese text on bamboo strips

Sino-Tibetan languages

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Family of more than 400 languages, second only to Indo-European in number of native speakers.

Family of more than 400 languages, second only to Indo-European in number of native speakers.

Ancient Chinese text on bamboo strips
Old Tibetan text found at Turfan

Tai and Miao–Yao were included because they shared isolating typology, tone systems and some vocabulary with Chinese.

Chinese language

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Group of languages that form the Sinitic branch of the Sino-Tibetan languages family, spoken by the ethnic Han Chinese majority and many minority ethnic groups in Greater China.

Group of languages that form the Sinitic branch of the Sino-Tibetan languages family, spoken by the ethnic Han Chinese majority and many minority ethnic groups in Greater China.

After applying the linguistic comparative method to the database of comparative linguistic data developed by Laurent Sagart in 2019 to identify sound correspondences and establish cognates, phylogenetic methods are used to infer relationships among these languages and estimate the age of their origin and homeland.
The Tripitaka Koreana, a Korean collection of the Chinese Buddhist canon
Range of Chinese dialect groups in China Mainland and Taiwan according to the Language Atlas of China
"Preface to the Poems Composed at the Orchid Pavilion" by Wang Xizhi, written in semi-cursive style
永 (meaning "forever") is often used to illustrate the eight basic types of strokes of Chinese characters.
"National language" (國語/国语; Guóyǔ) written in Traditional and Simplified Chinese characters, followed by various romanizations.
Yang Lingfu, former curator of the National Museum of China, giving Chinese language instruction at the Civil Affairs Staging Area in 1945.

All varieties of Chinese are tonal to at least some degree, and are largely analytic.

A simplified procedure for determining whether two sounds represent the same or different phonemes

Phoneme

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Unit of sound that can distinguish one word from another in a particular language.

Unit of sound that can distinguish one word from another in a particular language.

A simplified procedure for determining whether two sounds represent the same or different phonemes

Besides segmental phonemes such as vowels and consonants, there are also suprasegmental features of pronunciation (such as tone and stress, syllable boundaries and other forms of juncture, nasalization and vowel harmony), which, in many languages, change the meaning of words and so are phonemic.

b with flourish

Vietnamese language

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Austroasiatic language originating from Vietnam where it is the national and official language.

Austroasiatic language originating from Vietnam where it is the national and official language.

b with flourish
de Rhodes's entry for dĕóu᷄ shows distinct breves, acutes and apices.
Global distribution of speakers
Pitch contours and duration of the six Northern Vietnamese tones as spoken by a male speaker (not from Hanoi). Fundamental frequency is plotted over time. From Nguyễn & Edmondson (1998).
Ethnolinguistic Groups of Mainland Southeast Asia
Old Nôm character for rice noodle soup "phở". The character ⽶|米 on the left means "rice" whilst the character on the right "頗" was used to indicate the sound of the word (phở).
The first two lines of the classic Vietnamese epic poem The Tale of Kieu, written in the Nôm script and the modern Vietnamese alphabet. Chinese characters representing Sino-Vietnamese words are shown in, characters borrowed for similar-sounding native Vietnamese words in, and invented characters in.
In the bilingual dictionary Nhật dụng thường đàm (1851), Chinese characters (chữ Nho) are explained in chữ Nôm.
Jean-Louis Taberd's dictionary Dictionarium anamitico-latinum (1838) represents Vietnamese (then Annamese) words in the Latin alphabet and chữ Nôm.
A sign at the Hỏa Lò Prison museum in Hanoi lists rules for visitors in both Vietnamese and English.

Like many other languages in Southeast Asia and East Asia, Vietnamese is an analytic language with phonemic tone.

In Yiling, Yichang, Hubei, text on road signs appears both in Chinese characters and in Hanyu Pinyin

Pinyin

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Official romanization system for Standard Mandarin Chinese in Mainland China, and to some extent, in Taiwan and Singapore.

Official romanization system for Standard Mandarin Chinese in Mainland China, and to some extent, in Taiwan and Singapore.

In Yiling, Yichang, Hubei, text on road signs appears both in Chinese characters and in Hanyu Pinyin
Relative pitch changes of the four tones
Many writers are not yet aware of the rules for dividing text into words by spaces, and either put a space after each syllable, or run all words together. The manufacturer of this image's blankets put unnecessary spaces into the city name, 'Bishikaike' (which is the correct pinyin for 比什凯克, 'Bishkek') on the bottom line, but wrote the English text in the arc on top with no spaces at all.
Single storey a in four different Kai script fonts. Notice that accented pinyin letters are different in style and width with the regular letter.
A school slogan asking elementary students to speak Standard Chinese is annotated with pinyin, but without tonal marks.

The system includes four diacritics denoting tones, but pinyin without tone marks is used to spell Chinese names and words in languages written in the Latin script, and is also used in certain computer input methods to enter Chinese characters.

Thai language

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Tai language of the Kra–Dai language family spoken by the Central Thai people and a vast majority of Thai Chinese.

Tai language of the Kra–Dai language family spoken by the Central Thai people and a vast majority of Thai Chinese.

Monophthongs of Thai. From
Diphthongs of Thai. From
Thai language tone chart
"Kingdom of Thailand" in Thai script.

It is a tonal and analytic language, similar to Chinese and Vietnamese.

Taiwanese tones in isolation, and the changes they undergo when they precede another tone.

Tone sandhi

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Taiwanese tones in isolation, and the changes they undergo when they precede another tone.

Tone sandhi is a phonological change occurring in tonal languages, in which the tones assigned to individual words or morphemes change based on the pronunciation of adjacent words or morphemes.

Syllable components as a directed graph

Syllable

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Unit of organization for a sequence of speech sounds typically made up of a syllable nucleus with optional initial and final margins (typically, consonants).

Unit of organization for a sequence of speech sounds typically made up of a syllable nucleus with optional initial and final margins (typically, consonants).

Syllable components as a directed graph
Segmental model for cat and sing
Traditional Chinese syllable structure
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Hierarchical model for cat and sing
Left-branching hierarchical model
Branching nucleus for pout and branching coda for pond
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Although every syllable has supra-segmental features, these are usually ignored if not semantically relevant, e.g. in tonal languages.