FACTOID # 24: Looking for table makers? Head to Mississippi, with an overwhlemingly large number of employees in furniture manufacturing.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Standard Mandarin
This article contains Chinese text.
Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Chinese characters.
Map of eastern China and Taiwan, showing the historic distribution of Mandarin Chinese in light brown.
Map of eastern China and Taiwan, showing the historic distribution of Mandarin Chinese in light brown.

Standard Mandarin, also known as Standard Chinese, is the official modern Chinese spoken language used by the People's Republic of China, the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan, and is one of the four official languages of Singapore. Image File history File links Zhongwen. ... Japanese name Kanji: Hiragana: Korean name Hangul: Hanja: Vietnamese name Quốc ngữ: Hán tá»±: A Chinese character or Han character (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ) is a logogram used in writing Chinese, Japanese, sometimes Korean, and formerly Vietnamese. ... Image File history File links Mandarin_Sub-Dialects. ... Image File history File links Mandarin_Sub-Dialects. ... Image File history File links Map_of_sinitic_languages-en. ... Image File history File links Map_of_sinitic_languages-en. ... Spoken Chinese The Chinese spoken language(s) comprise(s) many regional variants. ... For the Chinese civilization, see China. ...


The phonology of Standard Mandarin is based on the Beijing dialect, which in turn belongs to Mandarin, a large and diverse group of Chinese dialects spoken across northern and southwestern China. The vocabulary is largely drawn from this group of dialects. The grammar of Standard Mandarin is standardized to the body of modern literary works written in Vernacular Chinese, which in practice follows the same tradition of the Mandarin group of dialects with some notable exceptions. As a result, Standard Mandarin itself is usually just called "Mandarin" in non-academic, everyday usage. However, linguists use "Mandarin" to refer to the entire group of dialects. This convention will be adopted by the rest of this article. Phonology (Greek phonē = voice/sound and logos = word/speech), is a subfield of linguistics which studies the sound system of a specific language (or languages). ... Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... This article is on all of the Northern and Southwestern Chinese dialects. ... For dialects of programming languages, see Programming language dialect. ... A vocabulary is a set of words known to a person or other entity, or that are part of a specific language. ... For the rules of English grammar, see English grammar and Disputes in English grammar. ... Vernacular Chinese (pinyin: báihuà; Wade-Giles: paihua) is a style or register of the written Chinese language essentially modeled after the spoken language and associated with Standard Mandarin. ... For the journal, see Linguistics (journal). ...


Standard Mandarin is officially known

All three terms are used interchangeably in Chinese communities around the world. Traditional Chinese characters refers to one of two standard sets of printed Chinese characters. ... Simplified Chinese character (Simplified Chinese: or ; traditional Chinese: or ; pinyin: or ) is one of two standard sets of Chinese characters of the contemporary Chinese written language. ... Traditional Chinese characters refers to one of two standard sets of printed Chinese characters. ... Simplified Chinese character (Simplified Chinese: or ; traditional Chinese: or ; pinyin: or ) is one of two standard sets of Chinese characters of the contemporary Chinese written language. ... Traditional Chinese characters refers to one of two standard sets of printed Chinese characters. ... Simplified Chinese character (Simplified Chinese: or ; traditional Chinese: or ; pinyin: or ) is one of two standard sets of Chinese characters of the contemporary Chinese written language. ...

Contents

History

Since ancient history, the Chinese language has always consisted of a wide variety of dialects; hence prestige dialects have always existed, and linguae francae have always been needed. Confucius, for example, used yǎyán (), or "elegant speech", rather than colloquial regional dialects; text during the Han Dynasty also referred to tōngyǔ (), or "common language". Rime books, which were written since the Southern and Northern Dynasties, may also have reflected one or more systems of standard pronunciation during those times. However, all of these standard dialects were probably unknown outside the educated elite; even among the elite, pronunciations may have been very different, as the unifying factor of all Chinese dialects, Classical Chinese, was a written standard, not a spoken one. Standard Mandarin is the official Chinese spoken language used by the Peoples Republic of China, the Republic of China (Taiwan), Malaysia and Singapore. ... Chinese (written) language (pinyin: zhōngw n) written in Chinese characters The Chinese language (汉语/漢語, 华语/華語, or 中文; Pinyin: H nyǔ, Hu yǔ, or Zhōngw n) is a member of the Sino-Tibetan family of languages. ... A prestige dialect is the dialect spoken by the most prestigious people in a speech community large enough to sustain multiple dialects. ... Lingua franca, literally Frankish language in Italian, was originally a mixed language consisting largely of Italian plus a vocabulary drawn from Turkish, Persian, French, Greek and Arabic and used for communication throughout the Middle East. ... Confucius (Chinese: ; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Kung-fu-tzu), lit. ... Han Dynasty in 87 BC Capital Changan (202 BC–9 AD) Luoyang (25 AD–190 AD) Language(s) Chinese Religion Taoism, Confucianism Government Monarchy History  - Establishment 206 BC  - Battle of Gaixia; Han rule of China begins 202 BC  - Interruption of Han rule 9 - 24  - Abdication to Cao Wei 220... A rime dictionary or a rime book is a type of Chinese dictionary that was used in ancient times. ... This article is about China. ... Look up pronunciation in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Classical Chinese or Literary Chinese is a traditional style of written Chinese based on the grammar and vocabulary of very old forms of Chinese , making it very different from any modern spoken form of Chinese. ...


The Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) and the Qing Dynasty (1644–1912) began to use the term guānhuà (官话), or "official speech", to refer to the speech used at the courts. The term "Mandarin" comes directly from the Portuguese. The word mandarim was first used to name the Chinese bureaucratic officials (i.e., the mandarins), because the Portuguese, under the misapprehension that the Sanskrit word (mantri or mentri) that was used throughout Asia to denote "an official" had some connection with the Portuguese word mandar (to order somebody to do something), and having observed that these officials all "issued orders", chose to call them mandarins. From this, the Portuguese immediately started calling the special language that these officials spoke amongst themselves (i.e., "Guanhua") "the language of the mandarins", "the mandarin language" or, simply, "Mandarin". The fact that Guanhua was, to a certain extent, an artificial language, based upon a set of conventions (i.e., Northern Chinese family of languages for grammar and meaning, and the specific pronunciation of the Imperial Court's locale for its utterance), is precisely what makes it such an appropriate term for Modern Standard Chinese (i.e., Northern Chinese family of languages for grammar and meaning, and the specific pronunciation of Beijing for its utterance). For other uses, see Ming. ... Flag (1890-1912) Anthem Gong Jinou (1911) Qing China at its greatest extent. ... A royal or noble court, as an instrument of government broader than a court of justice, comprises an extended household centered on a patron whose rule may govern law or be governed by it. ... Mantri is a word of Sanskrit origin, used in Asian cultures with a Hindu tradition (even if later converted, usually to buddhism or Islam), for various public offices, from fairly humble to ministerial rank, either alone or in a pleiad of compounds. ...


It seems that during the early part of this period, the standard was based on the Nanjing dialect, but later the Beijing dialect became increasingly influential, despite the mix of officials and commoners speaking various dialects in the capital, Beijing. In the 17th century, the Empire had set up Orthoepy Academies (正音書院, Zhèngyīn Shūyuàn) in an attempt to make pronunciation conform to the Beijing standard. But these attempts had little success. As late as the 19th century the emperor had difficulty understanding some of his own ministers in court, who did not always try to follow any standard pronunciation. Nevertheless, by 1909, the dying Qing Dynasty had established the Beijing dialect as guóyǔ (国语), or the "national language". Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... Peking redirects here. ... Orthoepeia means the correct use of words, from the Greek orth- + -epos, correct + word, speech. ... Flag (1890-1912) Anthem Gong Jinou (1911) Qing China at its greatest extent. ...


After the Republic of China was established in 1912, there was more success in promoting a common national language. A Commission on the Unification of Pronunciation was convened with delegates from the entire country. At first there was an attempt to introduce a standard pronunciation with elements from regional dialects. But this was deemed too difficult to promote, and in 1924 this attempt was abandoned and the Beijing dialect became the major source of standard national pronunciation, due to the status of that dialect as a prestigious dialect since the Qing Dynasty. Elements from other dialects continue to exist in the standard language, but as exceptions rather than the rule. For the Chinese civilization, see China. ... The Commission on the Unification of Pronunciation (讀音統一會 Pinyin: Dúyīn Tǒngyī Huì) was established in the Republic of China (then still based in Nanjing) from 1912 to 1913 to select ancillary phonetic symbols for Mandarin, (Zhuyin was the product) and... Flag (1890-1912) Anthem Gong Jinou (1911) Qing China at its greatest extent. ...


The People's Republic of China, established in 1949, continued the effort. In 1955, guóyǔ was renamed pǔtōnghuà (普通话), or "common speech". (The name change was not recognized by the Republic of China which has governed only Taiwan and some surrounding islands since 1949.) Since then, the standards used in mainland China and Taiwan have diverged somewhat, especially in newer vocabulary terms, and a little in pronunciation. For the Chinese civilization, see China. ... ... A vocabulary is a set of words known to a person or other entity, or that are part of a specific language. ...


After the handovers of Hong Kong [1] and Macau, the term pǔtōnghuà is used in those Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China, and the pinyin system is widely used. This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Special administrative region may be: Peoples Republic of China Special administrative regions, present-day administrative divisions (as of 2006) set up by the Peoples Republic of China to administer Hong Kong (since 1997) and Macau (since 1999) Republic of China Special administrative regions, also translated as special administrative... Pinyin, more formally called Hanyu Pinyin (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; Pinyin: ), is the most common variant of Standard Mandarin romanization system in use. ...


In both mainland China and Taiwan, the use of Standard Mandarin as the medium of instruction in the educational system and in the media has contributed to the spread of Standard Mandarin. As a result, Standard Mandarin is now spoken fluently by most people in Mainland China and in Taiwan. However in Hong Kong, due to historical and linguistic reasons, the language of education and both formal and informal speech remains the local Standard Cantonese but standard Mandarin is becoming increasingly influential. ... ... Standard Cantonese is a variant, and is generally considered the prestige dialect of Cantonese Chinese. ...


The advent of the 20th century has seen many profound changes in Standard Mandarin. Many formal, polite and humble words that were in use in imperial China have almost entirely disappeared in daily conversation in modern-day Standard Mandarin, such as jiàn ( "my humble") and guì ( "your honorable"). Class consciousness helped promote the development of an elaborate system of honorific language in Ancient and Imperial China. ...


The word 'Putonghua' was defined in October 1955 by the Minister of Education Department in mainland China as thus: '普通话就是现代汉民族共同语,是全国各民族通用的语言。普通话以北京语音为标准音,以北方话为基础方言,以典范的现代白话文著作为语法规范'. ("Putonghua is the common spoken language of the modern Han group, the lingua franca of all ethnic groups in the country. The standard pronunciation of Putonghua is based on the Beijing dialect, Putonghua is based on the Northern dialects (ie. the Mandarin dialects), and the grammar policy is modeled after the vernacular used in modern Chinese literary classics.") Language(s) Chinese languages Religion(s) Predominantly Taoism, Mahayana Buddhism, traditional Chinese religions, and atheism. ... Lingua franca, literally Frankish language in Italian, was originally a mixed language consisting largely of Italian plus a vocabulary drawn from Turkish, Persian, French, Greek and Arabic and used for communication throughout the Middle East. ... Vernacular Chinese (白话 [白話]; in pinyin: báihuà, literal meaning: Plain Language) is a style of written Chinese which is based on Standard Mandarin. ...


Phonology

The standardized phonology of Standard Mandarin is reproduced below. Actual reproduction varies widely among speakers, as everyone (including national leaders) inadvertently introduces elements of his/her own native dialect. By contrast, television and radio announcers are chosen for their pronunciation accuracy and "neutral" accent. Below is the phonology of Standard Mandarin. Phonology (Greek phonē = voice/sound and logos = word/speech), is a subfield of linguistics which studies the sound system of a specific language (or languages). ...


Initials

The following is the initial inventory of Standard Mandarin as represented in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA): The initial, also called the onset, or in Chinese shengmu (PY: shēngmǔ, TC: 聲母, SC: 声母), is an important concept in the phonological study of Chinese languages. ... Articles with similar titles include the NATO phonetic alphabet, which has also informally been called the “International Phonetic Alphabet”. For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words, see IPA chart for English. ...

Bilabial Labio-
dental
Alveolar Retroflex Alveolo-
palatal
Velar
Plosives p t k
Nasals m n
Fricatives f s ʂ (ʐ)1 ɕ x
Affricates ʦ ʦʰ ʈʂ ʈʂʰ tɕʰ
Lateral
approximant
l
Approximants w ɻ1 j ɥ

1 /ɻ/ is often transcribed as [ʐ] (a voiced retroflex fricative). This represents a variation in pronunciation among different speakers, rather than two different phonemes. In phonetics, a bilabial consonant is a consonant articulated with both lips. ... In phonetics, labiodentals are consonants articulated with the lower lips and the upper teeth, or viceversa. ... Alveolar consonants are articulated with the tongue against or close to the superior alveolar ridge, which is called that because it contains the alveoli (the sockets) of the superior teeth. ... Sub-apical retroflex plosive In phonetics, retroflex consonants are consonant sounds used in some languages. ... Sagittal section of alveolo-palatal fricative In phonetics, alveolo-palatal (or alveopalatal) consonants are palatalized postalveolar fricatives, articulated with the blade of the tongue behind the alveolar ridge, and the body of the tongue raised toward the palate. ... Velars are consonants articulated with the back part of the tongue (the dorsum) against the soft palate (the back part of the roof of the mouth, known also as the velum). ... A stop, plosive, or occlusive is a consonant sound produced by stopping the airflow in the vocal tract. ... A nasal consonant is produced when the velum—that fleshy part of the palate near the back—is lowered, allowing air to escape freely through the nose. ... Fricatives (or spirants) are consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together. ... Affricate consonants begin as stops (most often an alveolar, such as or ) but release as a fricative (such as or or, in a couple of languages, into a fricative trill) rather than directly into the following vowel. ... Laterals are L-like consonants pronounced with an occlusion made somewhere along the axis of the tongue, while air from the lungs escapes at one side or both sides of the tongue. ... Approximants are speech sounds that could be regarded as intermediate between vowels and typical consonants. ... The voiced retroflex fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ...


Corresponding chart in:

  • Pinyin
  • Zhuyin
  • Gwoyeu Romatzyh

For more complete information, showing how initials and finals interact, see this Zhuyin-IPA chart. The vowel sounds in that chart have been verified against the official IPA: site. A table of valid initial and final combinations can also be seen at: Pinyin, more formally called Hanyu Pinyin (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; Pinyin: ), is the most common variant of Standard Mandarin romanization system in use. ... Note: This page contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

What are traditionally termed retroflex are phonetically not true retroflex articulations. These consonants are, rather, flat apical postalveolar, and thus differ from both palatoalveolar and (true) retroflex consonants (Ladefoged & Wu 1984; Ladefoged & Maddieson 1996:150-154). This pinyin table is a complete listing of all Hanyu Pinyin syllables used in Standard Mandarin. ... This zhuyin table is a complete listing of all Zhuyin/Bopomofo syllables used in Standard Mandarin. ...


The alveolo-palatal consonants /tɕ tɕʰ ɕ/ are in complementary distribution (see minimal pair) with the alveolar consonants /ts tsʰ s/, retroflex consonants /tʂ tʂʰ ʂ/ and velar consonants /k kʰ x/. As a result, linguists prefer to classify /tɕ tɕʰ ɕ/ as allophones of one of the three other sets. The Yale and Wade-Giles systems, for example, mostly treat the palatals as allophones of the retroflex consonants; Tongyong Pinyin mostly treats them as allophones of the dentals; and Chinese Braille treats them as allophones of the velars. Sagittal section of alveolo-palatal fricative In phonetics, alveolo-palatal (or alveopalatal) consonants are palatalized postalveolar fricatives, articulated with the blade of the tongue behind the alveolar ridge, and the body of the tongue raised toward the palate. ... Complementary distribution in linguistics is the relationship between two different elements, where one element is found in a particular environment and the other element is found in the opposite environment. ... In phonology, minimal pairs are pairs of words or phrases in a particular language, which differ in only one phone, phoneme, toneme or chroneme and have a distinct meaning. ... Alveolar consonants are articulated with the tongue against or close to the superior alveolar ridge, which is called that because it contains the alveoli (the sockets) of the superior teeth. ... Sub-apical retroflex plosive In phonetics, retroflex consonants are consonant sounds used in some languages. ... Velars are consonants articulated with the back part of the tongue (the dorsum) against the soft palate (the back part of the roof of the mouth, known also as the velum). ... In phonetics, an allophone is one of several similar phones that belong to the same phoneme. ... Tongyong Pinyin (Chinese: ; pinyin: Tōngyòng pÄ«nyÄ«n; literally Universal/General Usage Sound-combining) is the current official romanization of the Chinese language adopted by the national government (although not all local governments) of the Republic of China (Taiwan) since 2002. ... Braille code where the word (, French for first) can be read. ...


/tɕ tɕʰ ɕ/ may be pronounced as [tsj tsʰj sj], which is characteristic of the speech of young women, and also of some men. This is usually considered rather effeminate and may also be considered substandard.


The null initial is most commonly realized as [ɰ], though [n], [ŋ], [ɣ], and [ʔ] are common in other dialects of Mandarin.


Finals

The final, or rime, of a syllable, in Standard Mandarin, is the part after the initial consonant. A Mandarin final can be structurally described as (Vm)V(Cf). In other words, it consists of an optional medial, a nucleus, and an optional coda. When present, the medial can be one of the three glides corresponding to the three high vowels: /i/, /u/, /y/. The coda can be absent; it can be one of two glides: -i and -u; or it can be one of two nasals: -n, . The final, also called the rhyme, or in Chinese yunmu (PY: yùnmǔ, TC: 韻母, SC: 韵母), is an important concept in the phonological study of Chinese languages. ... In the study of phonology in linguistics, the rime or rhyme of a syllable consists of a nucleus and an optional coda. ... Semivowels (also called semiconsonants or glides) are vowels that function phonemically as consonants. ... In phonetics and phonology, the nucleus is the central part of the syllable, mostly commonly a vowel. ... Note: This page contains phonetic information presented in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) using Unicode. ... Semivowels (also called semiconsonants or glides) are vowels that function phonemically as consonants. ... Semivowels (also called semiconsonants or glides) are vowels that function phonemically as consonants. ... A nasal consonant is produced when the velum—that fleshy part of the palate near the back—is lowered, allowing air to escape freely through the nose. ...


Not counting tone distinctions, there are about 35 distinct finals in Mandarin.


There are at least the following phones: Phone (Greek φωνή) is a colloquial term for a device to transmit speech. ...

  • [a] (only in finals [a], [ia], [ua], [ya], [aɪ], [uaɪ], [uan])
  • [ɑ] (only in finals [ɑʊ], [iɑʊ], [ɑŋ], [iɑŋ], [uɑŋ])
  • [e] (only in finals [eɪ] and [ueɪ])
  • [ɛ] (only in finals [iɛ], [iɛn], [yɛn] and in the isolated word [ɛ])
  • [œ] (only in final [yœ])
  • [o] (only in finals [ou] and [iou])
  • [ɔ] (only in final [uɔ] and in the isolated word [ɔ])
  • [ə] (only in finals [ən], [uən], [əŋ], [uəŋ])
  • [ɤ] (only in final [ɤ])
  • [z̩] (only in final [z̩], which occurs only after alveolar sibilants; sometimes pronounced as [ɨ])
  • [ʐ̩] (only in final [ʐ̩̩], which occurs only after retroflex sibilants; sometimes pronounced as [ɨ])
  • [i] (only in finals [i], [in], [iŋ])
  • [ʊ] (only in finals [ʊŋ], [yʊŋ])
  • [u] (only in final [u])
  • [y] (only in final [y], [yn])

This shows fourteen different vowels. By very conservative standards, this represents a system of eight phonemes: /a/ ([a]/[ɑ]), /e/ ([e]/[ɛ]), /o/ ([o]/[ɔ]), /ə/ ([ə]/[ɤ]), /z̩/([z̩]/[ʐ̩]), /i/, /u/ ([ʊ]/[u]), and /y/.


Further reduction can be achieved by noticing that /e/, /o/, and /ə/ are in complementary distribution, and can be treated as a single phoneme /ə/ (except in the isolated words [ɛ] and [ɔ], which function only as exclamations and can be treated as outside of the core system (similar to the normal treatment of "hmm", "unh-unh", "shhh!" and other English exclamations that violate usual syllabic constraints). Note also that the finals [iɛn] can be considered to be phonemically either /iən/ or /ian/; likewise for [yɛn], which can be either /yən/ or /yan/. (Taking into account that [iɛn] and [yɛn] become [iaɻ] and [yaɻ] upon rhotacization, the former interpretation seems more likely.) It would also be possible to merge /z̩/ and /i/, provided that the palatal and retroflex series are not themselves merged, since /i/ does not occur after retroflex or velar sounds or after dental fricatives and affricates. If all of these suggestions are followed, and [iɛn] and [yɛn] considered to be /ian/ and /uan/, the resulting system of /a/, /ə/, /i/, /u/, and /y/ is much like the standard Pinyin romanization scheme (except that Pinyin does not merge /ə/ with /o/ and uses a certain number of shortcut spellings). Pinyin, more formally called Hanyu Pinyin (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; Pinyin: ), is the most common variant of Standard Mandarin romanization system in use. ...


An even more reduced system results from considering main vowel /i/, /u/ and /y/ to be the surface results of the respective glides combined with a null meta-phoneme. This system, shown below, analyzes the final part of a syllable as a combination of a glide slot (/i/, /u/, /y/ or null), a main vowel slot (/a/, /ə/ or null), and a coda slot (/i/, /u/, /n/, /ŋ/ or null). (The minimal vowel /z̩/ ([z̩]/[ʐ̩] or [ɨ]) is considered to be the surface manifestation when all three slots are null, rather than an allophone of main vowel /i/.)


When the medial, nucleus, and coda combine into a final, their pronunciations may be affected. The following is the full table of finals of Standard Mandarin in IPA: Articles with similar titles include the NATO phonetic alphabet, which has also informally been called the “International Phonetic Alphabet”. For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words, see IPA chart for English. ...

Nucleus Coda Medial
Ø i u y
a Ø a ia ua
i uaɪ
u ɑʊ iɑʊ
n an iɛn uan yɛn
ŋ ɑŋ iɑŋ uɑŋ
ə Ø ɤ uo 1 ²
i ei uei
u ɤʊ iɤʊ
n ən in uən yn
ŋ ɤŋ uɤŋ ³ yʊŋ
Ø i u y

1 Both pinyin and zhuyin have an additional "o", used after "b p m f", which is distinguished from "uo", used after everything else. "o" is generally put into the first column instead of the third. However, in Beijing pronunciation, these are identical.
² Another way to represent the four finals of this line is: [ɯʌ iɛ uɔ yœ], which reflects Beijing pronunciation.
³ /uɤŋ/ is pronounced [ʊŋ] when it follows an initial. Pinyin, more formally called Hanyu Pinyin (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; Pinyin: ), is the most common variant of Standard Mandarin romanization system in use. ... Zhuyin fuhao (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; Hanyu Pinyin: ; Tongyong Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Chu-yin fu-hao), or Symbols for Annotating Sounds, often abbreviated as Zhuyin, or known as Bopomofo (ㄅㄆㄇㄈ) after the first four letters of this Chinese phonemic alphabet (bo po mo fo), is the national phonetic system of the...


Corresponding chart in:

  • Pinyin
  • Zhuyin
  • Gwoyeu Romatzyh

A table of valid initial and final combinations can also be seen at: Pinyin, more formally called Hanyu Pinyin (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; Pinyin: ), is the most common variant of Standard Mandarin romanization system in use. ...

This pinyin table is a complete listing of all Hanyu Pinyin syllables used in Standard Mandarin. ... This zhuyin table is a complete listing of all Zhuyin/Bopomofo syllables used in Standard Mandarin. ...

R Finals

Main article: Erhua

Standard Mandarin also uses a rhotic consonant, /ɚ/. This usage is a unique feature of Standard Mandarin, other dialects lack this sound. In Chinese, this feature is known as Erhua. There are two cases in which it is used: There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... Rhotic consonants, or R-like sounds, are non-lateral liquid consonants. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ...

  1. In a small number of words, such as 二 "two", 耳 "ear", etc. All of these words are pronounced as [ɑɚ] with no initial consonant.
  2. As a noun suffix (Traditional: -兒, Simplified: -儿). The suffix combines with the final, and regular but complex changes occur as a result.

The "r" final must be distinguished from the retroflex semi-vowel written as "ri" in the pinyin spelling and represented either by <ʐ> or <ɹ> in IPA. Saying "The star rode a donkey," in English, or "Wo nü-er ru yiyuan" (My daughter entered the hospital), will make it clear that the first "r" in either case is said with a relatively lax tongue, whereas the second "r" sounds both involve a very active curling of the tongue and contact with the top of the mouth. In linguistics, a noun or noun substantive is a lexical category which is defined in terms of how its members combine with other grammatical kinds of expressions. ... Look up Suffix in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


In other dialects of Mandarin, the rhotic consonant is sometimes replaced by another syllable, such as "li" in words that indicate locations. For example, "zher" and "nar" become "zhe li" and "na li," respectively.


Tones

Relative pitch changes of the four tones
Relative pitch changes of the four tones

Mandarin, like all Chinese dialects, is a tonal language. This means that tones, just like consonants and vowels, are used to distinguish words from each other. Many foreigners have difficulties mastering the tones of each character, but correct tonal pronunciation is essential for intelligibility because of the vast number of characters in the language that only differ by tone (i.e. are minimal pairs with respect to tone). The following are the 4 tones of Standard Mandarin: Image File history File links Pinyin_Tone_Chart. ... Image File history File links Pinyin_Tone_Chart. ... A Tonal language is a language that uses tone to distinguish words. ... It has been suggested that Tonal language be merged into this article or section. ... In phonology, minimal pairs are pairs of words or phrases in a particular language, which differ in only one phone, phoneme, toneme or chroneme and have a distinct meaning. ...

Tone name Yin Ping Yang Ping Shang Qu
Tone contour 55 35 21 (4) 51
Tone number 1 2 3 4
  1. First tone, or high-level tone (陰平/阴平 yīnpíng, literal meaning: yin-level):
    a steady high sound, as if it were being sung instead of spoken.
  2. Second tone, or rising tone (陽平/阳平 yángpíng, literal meaning: yang-level), or linguistically, high-rising:
    is a sound that rises from mid-level tone to high (e.g., What?!)
  3. Third tone (low tone, or low-falling-raising, 上聲/上声 shǎngshēng or shàngshēng, literal meaning: "up tone"):
    has a mid-low to low descent; if at the end of a sentence or before a pause, it is then followed by a rising pitch.
  4. Fourth tone, falling tone (去聲/去声 qùshēng, literal meaning: "away tone"), or high-falling:
    features a sharp downward accent ("dipping") from high to low, and is a shorter tone, similar to curt commands. (e.g., Stop!)
The syllable "ma" pronounced with the four main tones 

Tones in Chinese derive from the traditional Middle Chinese tone classes, known as Ping Sheng (&#24179;&#32882;), Shang Sheng (&#19978;&#32882;), Qu Sheng (&#21435;&#32882;), and Ru Sheng (&#20837;&#32882;), which in English in the linguistic literature, are sometimes called the level, rising, departing and entering tones. ... The tone contours of Standard Mandarin Tone contours are numbers that represent the way pitch varies over a syllable. ... A tone number is a numeral used in a notational system for marking the tones of a language. ... Japanese name Kanji: Hiragana: Vietnamese name Vietnamese: In Chinese philosophy the yin and yang (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ) are generalized descriptions of the antitheses or mutual correlations in human perceptions of phenomena in the natural world, combining to create a unity of opposites in the theory of the Taiji. ... This article is about audible acoustic waves. ... Japanese name Kanji: Hiragana: Vietnamese name Vietnamese: In Chinese philosophy the yin and yang (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ) are generalized descriptions of the antitheses or mutual correlations in human perceptions of phenomena in the natural world, combining to create a unity of opposites in the theory of the Taiji. ... For the journal, see Linguistics (journal). ... Zh-pinyin tones with ma. ...

Neutral tone

Also called Fifth tone or zeroth tone (in Chinese: 輕聲/轻声 qīng shēng, literal meaning: "light tone"), neutral tone is sometimes thought of incorrectly as a lack of tone. It is fairly rare and usually comes at the end of a word or phrase, and is pronounced in a light and short manner. The neutral tone is particularly difficult for non-native speakers to master correctly because of its uncharacteristically large number of allotone contours: the level of its pitch depends almost entirely on the tone carried by the syllable preceding it. The situation is further complicated by the amount of dialectal variation associated with it; in some regions, notably Taiwan, neutral tone is relatively uncommon.


Despite many examples of minimal pairs (for example, 要是 and 钥匙, yàoshì if and yàoshi key, respectively) it is sometimes described as something other than a full-fledged tone for technical reasons: namely because some linguists have historically felt that the tonality of a syllable carrying the neutral tone results from a "spreading out" of the tone on the syllable before it. This idea is appealing intuitively because without it, the neutral tone requires relatively complex tone sandhi rules to be made sense of; indeed, it would have to have 4 separate allotones, one for each of the four tones that could precede it. Despite this, however, it has been shown that the "spreading" theory inadequately characterizes the neutral tone, especially in sequences where more than one neutrally toned syllable are found adjacent[1]. Tone sandhi (Sandhi is from Sanskrit meaning, putting together) refers to the pitch change in tones when different tones come together. ...


The following are from Beijing dialect[2]. Other dialects may be slightly different. Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ...

Tone of first syllable Pitch of neutral tone Example Pinyin English meaning
1 2 玻璃 bōli glass
2 3 伯伯 bóbo uncle
3 4 喇叭 lăba horn
4 1 兔子 tùzi rabbit

Most romanizations represent the tones as diacritics on the vowels (e.g., Pinyin, MPS II and Tongyong Pinyin). Zhuyin uses diacritics as well. Others, like Wade-Giles, use superscript numbers at the end of each syllable. The tone marks and numbers are rarely used outside of language textbooks. Gwoyeu Romatzyh is a rare example where tones are not represented as special symbols, but using normal letters of the alphabet (although in a very complex fashion). Languages can be romanized in a variety of ways, as shown here with Mandarin Chinese In linguistics, romanization (or Latinization, also spelled romanisation or Latinisation) is the representation of a word or language with the Roman (Latin) alphabet, or a system for doing so, where the original word or language... Example of a letter with a diacritic A diacritic or diacritical mark, also called an accent, is a small sign added to a letter to alter pronunciation or to distinguish between similar words. ... Pinyin, more formally called Hanyu Pinyin (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; Pinyin: ), is the most common variant of Standard Mandarin romanization system in use. ... Mandarin Phonetic Symbols II (&#22283;&#35486;&#27880;&#38899;&#31526;&#34399;&#31532;&#20108;&#24335;), abbreviated MPS II, is a romanization system formerly used in the Republic of China (Taiwan). ... Tongyong Pinyin (Chinese: ; pinyin: Tōngyòng pīnyīn; literally Universal/General Usage Sound-combining) is the current official romanization of the Chinese language adopted by the national government (although not all local governments) of the Republic of China (Taiwan) since 2002. ... Zhuyin fuhao (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; Hanyu Pinyin: ; Tongyong Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Chu-yin fu-hao), or Symbols for Annotating Sounds, often abbreviated as Zhuyin, or known as Bopomofo (ㄅㄆㄇㄈ) after the first four letters of this Chinese phonemic alphabet (bo po mo fo), is the national phonetic system of the... A diacritic mark or accent mark is an additional mark added to a basic letter. ... Wade-Giles, sometimes abbreviated Wade, is a Romanization (phonetic notation and transliteration) system for the Chinese language based on Mandarin. ... This article is about the term superscript as used in typography. ... Three textbooks. ... The four tones of guo as written in characters, simplified on left, traditional on right and Gwoyeu Romatzyh. ...


To listen to the tones, see http://www.wku.edu/~shizhen.gao/Chinese101/pinyin/tones.htm (click on the blue-red yin yang symbol).


Tone sandhi

Pronunciation also varies with context according to the rules of tone sandhi. The most prominent phenomenon of this kind is when there are two third tones in immediate sequence, in which case the first of them changes to a rising tone, the second tone. In the literature, this contour is often called two-thirds tone or half-third tone, though generally, in Standard Mandarin, the "two-thirds tone" is the same as the second tone. If there are three third tones in series, the tone sandhi rules become more complex, and depend on word boundaries, stress, and dialectal variations. Tone sandhi (Sandhi is from Sanskrit meaning, putting together) refers to the pitch change in tones when different tones come together. ... Tone sandhi (Sandhi is from Sanskrit meaning, putting together) refers to the pitch change in tones when different tones come together. ...


tone sandhi rules at a glance
  1. When there are two 3rd tones (˨˩˦) in a row, the first syllable becomes 2nd tone (˧˥), and the second syllable becomes half-3rd tone (˨˩).
    ex: 老鼠 (lǎoshǔ) becomes [ lao˧˥ʂu˨˩ ]
  2. When there are three 3rd tones in a row, things get more complicated.
    If the first word is two syllables, and the second word is one syllable, the first two syllables become 2nd tones, and the last syllable stays 3rd tone:
    ex: 保管好 (bǎoguǎn hǎo) becomes [ pao˧˥kuan˧˥xao˨˩˦ ]
    If the first word is one syllable, and the second word is two syllables, the first syllable becomes half-3rd tone (˨˩), the second syllable becomes 2nd tone, and the last syllable stays 3rd tone:
    ex: 保管 (lǎo bǎoguǎn) becomes [ lao˨˩pao˧˥kuan˨˩˦ ]
  3. If a 3rd tone syllable is followed by a non-3rd tone syllable, the first syllable becomes a half-3rd tone:
    ex: 美妙 (měimiào) becomes [ mei˨˩miao˥˩ ]

Rules for "" and ""

"" (yī) and "" (bù) have special rules which do not apply to other Chinese characters:

  1. When in front of a 4th tone syllable, "" becomes 2nd tone.
    ex: 一定 (yīdìng) becomes [ i˧˥tiŋ˥˩ ]
  2. When in front of a non-4th tone syllable, "" becomes 4th tone.
    ex. (1st tone):一天 (yītiān -> [ i˥˩tʰiɛn˥˥ ])
    ex. (2nd tone): 一年 (yīnián -> [ i˥˩niɛn˧˥ ])
    ex. (3rd tone): 一起 (yīqǐ -> [ i˥˩tɕʰi˨˩˦ ])
  3. When "" falls between two words, it becomes neutral tone.
  4. When counting sequentially, and for all other situations "" retains its root tone value of 1st tone.
  5. "" only becomes 2nd tone when followed by a 4th tone syllable.
    ex: 不是 (bùshì) becomes [ pu˧˥ʂɚ˥˩ ]
  6. When "" comes between two words, it becomes neutral tone.

Relationship between Middle Chinese and modern tones

Relationship between Middle Chinese and modern tones: Middle Chinese (Traditional Chinese: 中古漢語; Pinyin: zhōnggǔ Hànyǔ), or Ancient Chinese as used by linguist Bernhard Karlgren, refers to the Chinese language spoken during Northern and Southern Dynasties and the Sui, Tang, and Song dynasties (6th century - 10th century). ... Middle Chinese (Traditional Chinese: 中古漢語; Pinyin: zhōnggǔ Hànyǔ), or Ancient Chinese as used by linguist Bernhard Karlgren, refers to the Chinese language spoken during Northern and Southern Dynasties and the Sui, Tang, and Song dynasties (6th century - 10th century). ...


V- = unvoiced initial consonant
L = sonorant initial consonant
V+ = voiced initial consonant (not sonorant) In phonetics, phonation is the use of the laryngeal system to generate an audible source of acoustic energy, i. ... The initial, also called the onset, or in Chinese shengmu (PY: sh&#275;ngm&#468;, TC: &#32882;&#27597;, SC: &#22768;&#27597;), is an important concept in the phonological study of Chinese languages. ... In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a sound in spoken language that is characterized by a closure or stricture of the vocal tract sufficient to cause audible turbulence. ... In phonetics and phonology, a sonorant is a speech sound that is produced without turbulent airflow in the vocal tract. ... In phonetics, phonation is the use of the laryngeal system to generate an audible source of acoustic energy, i. ... In phonetics and phonology, a sonorant is a speech sound that is produced without turbulent airflow in the vocal tract. ...

Middle Chinese Tone Ping (平) Shang (上) Qu (去) Ru (入)
Middle Chinese Initial V- L V+ V- L V+ V- L V+ V- L V+
Standard Mandarin Tone name Yin Ping
(陰平, 1)
Yang Ping
(陽平, 2)
Shang
(上, 3)
Qu
(去, 4)
redistributed
with no pattern
to Qu to Yang Ping
Standard Mandarin Tone contour 55 35 214 51 to 51 to 35

It is known that if the two morphemes of a compound word cannot be ordered by grammar, the order of the two is usually determined by tones — Yin Ping (1), Yang Ping (2), Shang (3), Qu (4), and Ru, which is the plosive-ending tone that has already disappeared. Below are some compound words that show this rule. Tones are shown in parentheses, and R indicates Ru. Middle Chinese (Traditional Chinese: 中古漢語; Pinyin: zhōnggÇ” HànyÇ”), or Ancient Chinese as used by linguist Bernhard Karlgren, refers to the Chinese language spoken during Northern and Southern Dynasties and the Sui, Tang, and Song dynasties (6th century - 10th century). ... It has been suggested that Tonal language be merged into this article or section. ... Middle Chinese (Traditional Chinese: 中古漢語; Pinyin: zhōnggÇ” HànyÇ”), or Ancient Chinese as used by linguist Bernhard Karlgren, refers to the Chinese language spoken during Northern and Southern Dynasties and the Sui, Tang, and Song dynasties (6th century - 10th century). ... It has been suggested that Tonal language be merged into this article or section. ... It has been suggested that Tonal language be merged into this article or section. ... In morpheme-based morphology, a morpheme is the smallest lingual unit that carries a semantic interpretation. ...


左右 (34)
南北 (2R)
輕重 (14)
貧富 (24)
凹凸 (1R)
喜怒 (34)
哀樂 (1R)
生死 (13)
死活 (3R)
陰陽 (12)
明暗 (24)
毀譽 (34)
褒貶 (13)
離合 (2R)


Standard Mandarin and Beijing dialect

By the official definition of the People's Republic of China, Standard Mandarin uses:

  • The phonology or sound system of Beijing. A distinction should be made between the sound system of a dialect or language and the actual pronunciation of words in it. The pronunciations of words chosen for Standard Mandarin -- a standardized speech -- do not necessarily reproduce all of those of the Beijing dialect. The pronunciation of words is a standardization choice and occasional standardization differences (not accents) do exist, between putonghua and guoyu, for example.

In fluent speech, Chinese speakers can easily tell the difference between a speaker of the Beijing dialect and a speaker of Standard Mandarin. Beijingers speak Standard Mandarin with elements of their own dialect in the same way as other speakers. Phonology (Greek phonē = voice/sound and logos = word/speech), is a subfield of linguistics which studies the sound system of a specific language (or languages). ... Peking redirects here. ...

  • The vocabulary of Mandarin dialects in general. This means that all slang and other elements deemed "regionalisms" are excluded. On the one hand, the vocabulary of all Chinese dialects, especially in more technical fields like science, law, and government, are very similar. (This is similar to the profusion of Latin and Greek words in European languages.) This means that much of the vocabulary of standardized Mandarin is shared with all varieties of Chinese. On the other hand, many colloquial vocabulary and slang found in Beijing dialect are not found in Standard Mandarin, and may not be understood by people outside Beijing.
  • The grammar and usage of exemplary modern Chinese literature, such as the work of Lu Xun, collectively known as "Vernacular Chinese" (baihua). Vernacular Chinese, the standard written form of modern Chinese, is in turn based loosely upon a mixture of northern (predominant), southern, and classical grammar and usage. This gives formal standard Mandarin structure a slightly different feel from that of street Beijing dialect.

In theory the Republic of China in Taiwan defines standard Mandarin differently, though in reality the differences are minor and are concentrated mostly in the tones of a small minority of words. A vocabulary is a set of words known to a person or other entity, or that are part of a specific language. ... For other uses, see Slang (disambiguation). ... A magnet levitating above a high-temperature superconductor demonstrates the Meissner effect. ... For other uses, see Law (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Latin (disambiguation). ... Look up Colloquialism in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Slang (disambiguation). ... For the rules of English grammar, see English grammar and Disputes in English grammar. ... Style guides generally give guidance on language use. ... Chinese literature spans back thousands of years, from the earliest recorded dynastic court archives to the matured fictional novel arising in the medieval period to entertain the masses of literate Chinese. ... Lu Xun (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; Pinyin: ) or Lu Hsün (Wade-Giles), pen name of Zhou Shuren (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; Hanyu Pinyin: Zhōu Shùrén; Wade-Giles: Chou Shu-jen) (September 25, 1881 – October 19, 1936) is one of the major Chinese writers of the 20th... Vernacular Chinese (pinyin: báihuà; Wade-Giles: paihua) is a style or register of the written Chinese language essentially modeled after the spoken language and associated with Standard Mandarin. ... Classical Chinese or Literary Chinese is a traditional style of written Chinese based on the grammar and vocabulary of very old forms of Chinese , making it very different from any modern spoken form of Chinese. ... A Tonal language is a language that uses tone to distinguish words. ...


Speakers of Standard Mandarin generally have little difficulty understanding the Beijing accent, which the former is based on. Natives of Beijing commonly add a final "er" (/ɻ/) (兒音/儿音; pinyin: éryīn) — commonly used as a diminutive — to vocabulary items, as well as use more neutral tones in their speech. An example of Standard Mandarin versus the Beijing dialect would be: standard men (door) compared with Beijing menr. These give the Beijing dialect a somewhat distinctive lilt compared to Standard Mandarin spoken elsewhere. The dialect is also known for its rich colloquialisms and idiomatic expressions. A diminutive is a formation of a word used to convey a slight degree of the root meaning, smallness of the object or quality named, encapsulation, intimacy, or endearment. ... Look up Colloquialism in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... [[An idiom is an expression (i. ...


Although Chinese speakers make a clear distinction between Standard Mandarin and the Beijing dialect, there are aspects of Beijing dialect that have made it into the official standard. Standard Mandarin has a T-V distinction between the polite and informal versions of you that comes from Beijing dialect. In addition, there is a distinction between "zánmen" (we including the listener) and "wǒmen" (we not including the listener). In practice, neither distinction is commonly used by most Chinese. In sociolinguistics, a T-V distinction describes the situation wherein a language has second-person pronouns that distinguish varying levels of politeness, social distance, courtesy, familiarity, or insult toward the addressee. ...


The following samples are some Beijing dialects which are not yet accepted into Standard Mandarin:


倍儿: bei er means 'very much'; 拌蒜: ban suan means 'stagger'; 不吝: bu lin means 'do not worry about'; 撮: cuo means 'eat'; 出溜: chu liu means 'slip'; 大老爷儿们儿: da lao ye men er means 'man, male';


The following samples are some Beijing dialects which have been already accepted as Standard Mandarin in recent years. 二把刀: er ba dao means 'not very skillful'; 哥们儿: ge men er means 'good male friends', "buddies"; 抠门儿: kou men er means 'parsimony'.


Standard Mandarin and other dialects and languages

Although Standard Mandarin is now firmly established as the lingua franca in Mainland China, the national standard can be somewhat different from the other local dialects in the vast Mandarin dialect group, to the point of being to some extent unintelligible. Pronunciation differences though within the Mandarin group are usually regular, usually differing only in the tones. For example, the character for "sky" 天 is pronounced with the first tone in the Beijing dialect and in Standard Mandarin (pinyin: tian), but is the fourth tone in Tianjin dialect. In dialects outside the Mandarin group it can range from ti (with light tone in Shanghainese dialect) to teen in the high level or high falling tone in Standard Cantonese. A dialect (from the Greek word διάλεκτος, dialektos) is a variety of a language used by people from a particular geographic area. ... Tianjin dialect (天津话, pinyin: TiānjÄ«nhuà) is the dialect of Mandarin spoken in the urban area of Tianjin, China. ... Shanghainese (上海言话 [] in Shanghainese), sometimes referred to as the Shanghai dialect, is a dialect of Wu Chinese spoken in the city of Shanghai. ... Standard Cantonese is a variant, and is generally considered the prestige dialect of Cantonese Chinese. ...


Although both Mainland China and Taiwan use Standard Mandarin in the official context and are keen to promote its use as a national lingua franca, there is no official intent to have Standard Mandarin replace the regional languages. As a practical matter of fact, speaking only Standard Mandarin in areas such as in southern China or Taiwan could be a significant social handicap; some elderly or rural Chinese-language speakers there do not speak Standard Mandarin fluently (although most do understand it). In addition, it is also very common for it to be spoken with the speaker's regional accent, depending on factors as age, level of education, and the need and frequency to speak correctly for official or formal purposes. This situation appears to be changing, though, in large urban centers, as social changes, migrations, and urbanization take place. Lingua franca, literally Frankish language in Italian, was originally a mixed language consisting largely of Italian plus a vocabulary drawn from Turkish, Persian, French, Greek and Arabic and used for communication throughout the Middle East. ... Sign in a rural area in Dalarna, Sweden Qichun, a rural town in Hubei province, China Rural areas (also referred to as the country, countryside) are settled places outside towns and cities. ... The Urban Center is a gallery on Madison Avenue in New York City (USA), which is run by the Municipal Art Society (MAS). ...


In the predominantly Han areas in Mainland China, while the use of Standard Mandarin is encouraged as the common working language, the PRC has been sensitive to the status of local dialects and has not discouraged their use. Standard Mandarin is very commonly used for logistical reasons, as in many parts of southern China the linguistic diversity is so large that neighboring city dwellers may have difficulties communicating with each other without a common lingua franca. Language(s) Chinese languages Religion(s) Predominantly Taoism, Mahayana Buddhism, traditional Chinese religions, and atheism. ... ... Logistics is the management of resources and their distribution. ...


In Taiwan, the relationship between Standard Mandarin and local dialects, particularly Taiwanese, has been more heated. Following the Kuomintang (KMT) rule from 1949 until the lifting of martial law in the 1980s, the KMT government has discouraged or even forbidden the use of Taiwanese and other local vernaculars. This produced a backlash in the 1990s, amongst more extreme supporters of Taiwan independence. Under the current Chen Shui-Bian administration, the Taiwanese languages are being taught as an individual class, with dedicated textbooks and course materials. The current President, Chen Shui-Bian, often breaks into Taiwanese during speeches, while the former President, Lee Teng-hui, , also speaks Taiwanese openly when interviewed in the media. For other uses, see Formosan languages, Taiwanese Mandarin, and Languages of Taiwan. ... The Kuomintang of China (abbreviation KMT) [1], also often translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party, is a political party in the Republic of China (ROC), now on Taiwan, and is currently the largest political party in terms of seats in the Legislative Yuan, and the oldest political party in the... For other uses, see Martial law (disambiguation). ... Taiwan independence (traditional Chinese: ; simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: , Pe̍h-oē-jī: Tâi-oân To̍k-li̍p ūn-tōng; abbreviated to 台獨, Táidú, Tâi-to̍k) is a political movement whose goal is primarily to create an independent and sovereign Republic of Taiwan out of the... Chen Shui-bian, President of the Republic of China Chen Shui-bian (ch. ... Lee Teng-hui (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; Pinyin: ) born January 15, 1923) is a politician of Taiwan. ...


In Singapore, the government has heavily promoted a "Speak Mandarin Campaign" since the late 1960s. The use of non-Mandarin dialects in broadcast media is prohibited and the use of dialect in any context is officially discouraged. This has led to some resentment amongst the older generations, as Singapore's migrant Chinese community is made up almost entirely of south Chinese descent. Lee Kuan Yew, the initiator of the campaign, admitted that to most Chinese Singaporeans, Mandarin was a "stepmother tongue" rather than a true mother language. Nevertheless, he saw the need for a unified language among the Chinese community not biased in favor of any dialect group.[3] The Speak Mandarin Campaign (SMC; Simplified Chinese: 讲华语运动) is an initiative to encourage Singapores ethnic Chinese population to speak Mandarin, the official language of China, commonly referred to as Putonghua in Chinese. ... Broadcasting is the distribution of audio and/or video signals which transmit programs to an audience. ... This is a Chinese name; the family name is 李 (Li) Lee Kuan Yew, GCMG, CH (Chinese: ; Pinyin: ; born September 16, 1923; also spelled Lee Kwan-Yew), was the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore from 1959 to 1990. ... A stepfamily is the family one acquires when a parent marries someone new. ...


See also:

The Commission on the Unification of Pronunciation (&#35712;&#38899;&#32113;&#19968;&#26371; Pinyin: Dúy&#299;n T&#466;ngy&#299; Huì) was established in the Republic of China (then still based in Nanjing) from 1912 to 1913 to select ancillary phonetic symbols for Mandarin, (Zhuyin was the product) and... The Mandarin Promotion Council (國語推行委員會, pinyin: GuóyÇ” TuÄ«xíng WÄ›iyuánhuì) was established by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of China with the purpose of standardizing and popularizing the usage of Guoyu in China. ... The Speak Mandarin Campaign (SMC; Simplified Chinese: 讲华语运动) is an initiative to encourage Singapores ethnic Chinese population to speak Mandarin, the official language of China, commonly referred to as Putonghua in Chinese. ...

Accents

Most Chinese (Beijingers included) speak Standard Mandarin with elements of their own dialects (i.e. their "accents") mixed in.


For example, natives of Beijing, add a final "er" (/ɻ/) — commonly used as a diminutive — sound to vocabulary items that other speakers would leave unadorned (兒音/儿音; pinyin: éryīn). A diminutive is a formation of a word used to convey a slight degree of the root meaning, smallness of the object or quality named, encapsulation, intimacy, or endearment. ...


On the other hand, speakers from northeastern and southern China as well as Taiwan often mix up zh and z, ch and c, q and c, sh and s, x and s, h and f, and l and n because their own home dialects often do not make these distinctions. As a result, it can be difficult for people who do not have the standard pronunciation to use pinyin, because they do not distinguish these sounds. Pinyin, more formally called Hanyu Pinyin (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; Pinyin: ), is the most common variant of Standard Mandarin romanization system in use. ...


See List of Chinese dialects for a list of articles on individual Chinese dialects and how their features differ from Standard Mandarin. Geographic distribution of Sinitic language families within the Peoples Republic of China and the Republic of China The following is a list of Chinese dialects and languages. ...


Role of standard Mandarin

From an official point of view, Standard Mandarin serves the purpose of a lingua franca — a way for speakers of the many mutually unintelligible Han Chinese dialects/languages, as well as the Han and non-Han ethnic groups to communicate with each other. The very name Putonghua, or "common speech", reinforces this idea. In practice, however, due to Standard Mandarin being a "public" lingua franca, other languages or dialects, both Han and non-Han, have shown signs of losing ground to Standard Mandarin, to the chagrin of certain local culture proponents. Lingua franca, literally Frankish language in Italian, was originally a mixed language consisting largely of Italian plus a vocabulary drawn from Turkish, Persian, French, Greek and Arabic and used for communication throughout the Middle East. ... Language(s) Chinese languages Religion(s) Predominantly Taoism, Mahayana Buddhism, traditional Chinese religions, and atheism. ... The Peoples Republic of China officially describes itself as a multinational unitary state and as such officially recognizes 56 nationalities or Mínzú (&#27665;&#26063;), within China: the Han being the majority (>92%), and the remaining 55 nationalities being the national minorities. ... Spoken Chinese The Chinese spoken language(s) comprise(s) many regional variants. ...


On Taiwan, Guoyu (national language) continues to be the official term for standard Mandarin. The term Guoyu is rarely used in Mainland China, because declaring a Beijing-dialect-based standard to be the national language would be deemed unfair to other Chinese dialects and ethnic minorities. The term Putonghua (ordinary speech), on the contrary, implies nothing more than the notion of a lingua franca. However, Guoyu does persist among many older Mainland Chinese, and it is common in U.S. Chinese communities, even among Mainlanders. Some in Taiwan, especially proponents of Taiwan independence, also object to the term Guoyu to refer to standardized Mandarin, on the grounds that the "nation" referred to in the name of the language is China and that Taiwan is or should be independent. They prefer to refer to Mandarin with the terms "Beijing dialect" or Zhongwen (writing of China). As with most things political in Taiwan, some support the name for precisely the same reasons that others oppose them. ... Lingua franca, literally Frankish language in Italian, was originally a mixed language consisting largely of Italian plus a vocabulary drawn from Turkish, Persian, French, Greek and Arabic and used for communication throughout the Middle East. ... Taiwan independence (traditional Chinese: ; simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: , Pe̍h-oē-jī: Tâi-oân To̍k-li̍p ūn-tōng; abbreviated to 台獨, Táidú, Tâi-to̍k) is a political movement whose goal is primarily to create an independent and sovereign Republic of Taiwan out of the... The Republic of China (ROC) currently has jurisdiction over Taiwan, Kinmen, Matsu, and the Pescadores Islands (Penghu) and several smaller islands. ...


In December 2004, the first survey of language use in the People's Republic of China revealed that only 53% of its population, about 700 million people, could communicate in Standard Mandarin. (China Daily) A survey by South China Morning Post released in September 2006 gave the same result.[citation needed] This 53% is defined as a passing grade above 3-B (ie. error rate lower than 40%) of Evaluation Exam. Another survey in 2003 by the China National Language And Character Working Committee (国家语言文字工作委员会) shows, if mastery of Standard Mandarin is defined as Grade 1-A (ie. error rate lower than 3%), the percentages as follows are: Beijing 90%, Shanghai 3%, Tianjin 25%, Guangzhou 0.5%, Dalian 10%, Xi'an 12%, Chengdu 1%, Nanjing 2%.[citation needed] Consequently, foreign learners of Mandarin usually opt to learn at Beijing, although grammar and character learning is not confined to that area. The South China Morning Post, together with its Sunday edition, the Sunday Morning Post, is the dominant English-language newspaper in Hong Kong, with a circulation of 104,000. ... For other uses, see Shanghai (disambiguation). ...   (Chinese: ; Pinyin: ; Postal map spelling: Tientsin) is one of the four municipalities of China. ... Guangzhou is the capital and the sub-provincial city of Guangdong Province in the southern part of the Peoples Republic of China. ... Dalian (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; Hanyu Pinyin: ; Japanese: Dairen; Russian: Далянь, Dalian or Дальний, Dalny) is the governing sub-provincial city in the eastern Liaoning Province of Northeast China. ... Xian redirects here. ... Not to be confused with Chengde. ... For other uses, see Nanjing (disambiguation). ...


With the high-speed development of China, more Chinese people leaving rural areas for cities for job or study opportunities, and the Mandarin Level Evaluation Exam (普通话水平测试) has quickly become very popular. Most university graduates usually take this exam before looking for a job. Many companies require a basic Mandarin Level Evaluation Certificate from their applicants, barring applicants who were born or bred in Beijing, since their Proficiency level is believed to be inherently 1-A (一级甲等)(Error rate: lower than 3%). As for the rest, the score of 1-A is rare. People who get 1-B (Error rate: lower than 8%) are considered qualified to work as television correspondents or in broadcasting stations. 2-A (Error rate: lower than 13%) can work as Chinese Literature Course teachers in public schools. Other levels include: 2-B (Error rate: lower than 20%), 3-A (Error rate: lower than 30%) and 3-B (Error rate: lower than 40%). In China, a proficiency of level 3-B usually cannot be achieved unless special training is received. Even if most Chinese do not speak Standard Mandarin with standard pronunciation, spoken Standard Mandarin is understood by virtually almost everyone.


The China National Language And Character Working Committee was founded in 1985. One of its important responsibilities is to promote Standard Mandarin and Mandarin Level proficiency for Chinese native speakers. (Its website link can be found in the external links section.)


See also

Wikibooks
Wikibooks has a book on the topic of

Image File history File links Wikibooks-logo-en. ... Wikibooks logo Wikibooks, previously called Wikimedia Free Textbook Project and Wikimedia-Textbooks, is a wiki for the creation of books. ... This article is on all of the Northern and Southwestern Chinese dialects. ... The Naples Eastern University (Italian: Università degli Studi di Napoli LOrientale) is a university located in Naples, Italy. ... Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... 中文語法/中文语法 Zhōngwén yǔfǎ (Chinese grammar) This article or section uses Ruby annotation. ... In some ways, Mandarin Chinese slang terms and insults resemble their English counterparts. ... Chinese speech synthesis is the application of speech synthesis to the Chinese language (usually Standard Mandarin). ...

Notes

  1. ^ Yiya Chen and Yi Xu, Pitch Target of Mandarin Neutral Tone (abstract), presented at the 8th Conference on Laboratory Phonology
  2. ^ Wang Jialing, The Neutral Tone in Trysyllabic Sequences in Chinese Dialects, Tianjin Normal University, 2004
  3. ^ Lee Kuan Yew (2000). From Third World to First: The Singapore Story: 1965-2000. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-019776-5.

References

  • Chao, Y.R., A Grammar of Spoken Chinese, University of California Press, (Berkeley), 1968.
  • Hsia, T., China’s Language Reforms, Far Eastern Publications, Yale University, (New Haven), 1956.
  • Ladefoged, Peter; & Maddieson, Ian. (1996). The sounds of the world's languages. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers. ISBN 0-631-19814-8 (hbk); ISBN 0-631-19815-6 (pbk).
  • Ladefoged, Peter; & Wu, Zhongji. (1984). Places of articulation: An investigation of Pekingese fricatives and affricates. Journal of Phonetics, 12, 267-278.
  • Lehmann, W.P. (ed.), Language & Linguistics in the People’s Republic of China, University of Texas Press, (Austin), 1975.
  • Lin, Y., Lin Yutang's Chinese-English Dictionary of Modern Usage, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1972.
  • Milsky, C., "New Developments in Language Reform", The China Quarterly, No.53, (January-March 1973), pp.98-133.
  • Norman, J., Chinese, Cambridge University Press, (Cambridge), 1988.
  • Ramsey, R.S.(1987). The Languages of China. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-01468-X
  • San Duanmu (2000) The Phonology of Standard Chinese ISBN 0-19-824120-8
  • Seybolt, P.J. & Chiang, G.K. (eds.), Language Reform in China: Documents and Commentary, M.E. Sharpe, (White Plains), 1979.
  • Simon, W., A Beginners' Chinese-English Dictionary Of The National Language (Gwoyeu): Fourth Revised Edition, Lund Humphries, (London), 1975.

External links


Image File history File links Emblem-important. ...

[edit] Chinese: spoken varieties  
Generally accepted first-level categories:

Mandarin | Wu | Cantonese | Min | Hakka | Xiang | Gan |
Spoken Chinese Spoken Chinese comprises many regional variants. ... This article is on all of the Northern and Southwestern Chinese dialects. ... Wu (Chinese: ; pinyin: ; Chinese: ; pinyin: ) is one of the major divisions of the Chinese language. ... This article is about all of the Cantonese (Yue) dialects. ... Min (Chinese: ; pinyin: ; POJ: Bân hong-giân; BUC: Mìng huŏng-ngiòng) is a general term for a group of dialects of the Chinese language spoken in the southeastern Chinese province of Fujian as well as by migrants from this province in Guangdong (around Chaozhou-Swatou... Hakka (Simplified Chinese: 客家话, Traditional Chinese: 客家話, Pronunciation in Hakka: Hak-ka-fa/-va, Pinyin: Kèjiāhuà) is a spoken variation of the Chinese language spoken predominantly in southern China by the Hakka ethnic group and descendants in diaspora throughout East and Southeast Asia and around the world. ... Xiang (&#28248;&#35486;/&#28248;&#35821;), also Hunan, Hunanese, or Hsiang, is a subdivision of spoken Chinese. ... Gàn (赣语) is one of the major divisions of spoken Chinese, a member of the Sino-Tibetan family of languages, concentrated in and typical of Jiangxi Province. ...

Often accepted first-level categories:

Jin | Hui | Ping Jin (simplified: &#26187;&#35821;; traditional: &#26185;&#35486;; pinyin: jìny&#468;), or Jin-yu, is a subdivision of spoken Chinese. ... The Hui (&#24509;) dialects are unrelated to the Hui (&#22238;) ethnic group of China. ... Pinghua (&#24179;&#35441;/&#24179;&#35805;), also Guangxi Nanning, is a subdivision of spoken Chinese. ...

Unclassified:

Danzhouhua | Shaozhou Tuhua Danzhouhua (hua = language) 儋州話 / 儋州话 is an unclassified Chinese dialect spoken in the area of Danzhou on the island Hainan. ... Shaozhou Tuhua ( 韶州土話 / 韶州土话 ) is an unclassified Chinese language spoken in the border region of the provinces Guangdong, Hunan and Guangxi. ...

Subcategories of Mandarin: Northeastern | Beijing | Ji-Lu | Jiao-Liao | Zhongyuan | Lan-Yin | Southwestern | Taiwanese | Jianghuai | Dungan
Subcategories of Min: Min Bei | Min Dong | Min Nan | Min Zhong | Puxian | Qiong Wen | Shaojiang
Comprehensive list of Chinese dialects     |     Identification of the varieties of Chinese
Historical phonology: Old Chinese | Middle Chinese | Proto-Min | Proto-Mandarin | Haner
Written varieties
Official written varieties: Classical Chinese | Vernacular Chinese
Other varieties: Written Vernacular Cantonese

Mandarin, when used in the broad sense to refer to most of the Chinese dialects spoken over northern and southwestern China, covers many variations. ... Northeastern Mandarin or Northeast Chinese Dialect is a variety of Mandarin Chinese, known collectively as Dongbeihua (Traditional Chinese: 東北話; Simplified Chinese: 东北话; pinyin: DōngbÄ›ihuà; literally Northeast Speech/Language). Northeastern dialect is very similar to the Beijing dialect, upon which Standard Mandarin Chinese (Putonghua) is based. ... Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... Ji Lu Mandarin (Simplified Chinese: , Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: jìlÇ”guānhuà) is a Mandarin dialect spoken in the Chinese provinces of Hebei and Shandong. ... Jiao-Liao Mandarin (胶辽官话)is the version of Mandarin Chinese spoken on the Shandong (aka Jiaodong) and Liaodong Peninsulas in northeast China. ... Zhongyuan Mandarin (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; Hanyu Pinyin: ) ( Official Language of the Central Plain), spoken in the central part of Shaanxi, Henan, and southern part of Shandong, is a dialect of Chinese. ... Also known as Huguang (湖广), it is the varient of Mandarin Chinese widely spoken south of the Yangtze River, and east of the Tibetan Plateau. ... Taiwanese Mandarin (Traditional Chinese: ; Hanyu Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Tai2-wan1 Kuo2-yü3; also 台灣華語, Táiwān HuáyÇ”) is the dialect of Mandarin Chinese spoken on Taiwan. ... The Dungan language (Dungan: Хуэйзў йүян Huejzw jyian, Russian: tr. ... Min Bei is a subcategory of Min, which is a Chinese language. ... Min Dong Language (or Eastern Min Language, Chinese: 閩東語, SLC: Mỉng Tòyng ngỹ) is the language mainly spoken in the eastern part of Fujian Province (Chinese: 福建, SLC: Huk Kyŏng). ... M&#464;n N n (Chinese: &#38313;&#21335;&#35486;), also spelt as Minnan or Min-nan; native name B ; literally means Southern Min or Southern Fujian and refers to the local language/dialect of southern Fujian province, China. ... Min Zhong (Simplified Chinese: 闽中; Traditional Chinese: 閩中; pinyin: Mǐnzhōng) is a subcategory of Min, which is a Chinese language. ... Puxian (Simplified Chinese: 莆仙话 ; Traditional Chinese : 莆仙話 ; Hanyu pinyin : Púxiān huà) is a subcategory of Min Chinese. ... ... Geographic distribution of Sinitic language families within the Peoples Republic of China and the Republic of China The following is a list of Chinese dialects and languages. ... Chinese forms part of the Sino-Tibetan family of languages. ... Historical Chinese Phonology deals with reconstructing the sounds of Chinese from the past. ... The Seal script characters for harvest (later year) and person. ... Middle Chinese (Traditional Chinese: 中古漢語; Pinyin: zhōnggÇ” HànyÇ”), or Ancient Chinese as used by linguist Bernhard Karlgren, refers to the Chinese language spoken during Northern and Southern Dynasties and the Sui, Tang, and Song dynasties (6th century - 10th century). ... Proto-Mandarin is an ancient language based on an older form of Mandarin before it was Mandarin. ... The Haner language (Traditional Chinese: ) was a Chinese language heavily influenced by non-Han Chinese languages, especially Mongolian. ... Various styles of Chinese calligraphy. ... Classical Chinese or Literary Chinese is a traditional style of written Chinese based on the grammar and vocabulary of very old forms of Chinese , making it very different from any modern spoken form of Chinese. ... Vernacular Chinese (pinyin: báihuà; Wade-Giles: paihua) is a style or register of the written Chinese language essentially modeled after the spoken language and associated with Standard Mandarin. ... Written Cantonese refers to the written language used to write colloquial standard Cantonese using Chinese characters. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Mandarin (linguistics) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1626 words)
Standard Mandarin functions as the official spoken language of the People's Republic of China, the official spoken language of the Republic of China (Taiwan), and one of the official spoken languages of Singapore.
The presence of Mandarin in southwest China is largely due to a plague in the 12th century in Sichuan.
This situation changed with the widespread introduction of Standard Mandarin as the national language, to be used in education, the media, and formal situations in both the PRC and the ROC, but not in Hong Kong.
Standard Mandarin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3937 words)
Standard Mandarin is the official Chinese spoken language used by the People's Republic of China, the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Singapore.
The grammar of Standard Mandarin is standardized to the body of modern works written in Vernacular Chinese, which in practice follows the tradition of the Mandarin group of dialects most closely with some notable exceptions.
Curiously the use of standard Mandarin in the 20th century has supplanted the use of pidgin English which was used as a common language in some parts of southern China in the 18th and 19th century.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m