Listening Acquisition:
Chinese Tones from Perception
to Practice by Elsa Chang
Do you speak any
tonal languages?
Vietnamese (Northern)
Chinese Dialects
Standard Chinese: Mandarin
O
O
O
Standard Chinese: Mandarin

Mandarin is a tonal language.

A syllable with different tones
represents different words with different
meanings.

Standard Chinese has four pitched
tones and one neutral tone.
Learning to read Mandarin

Nǐhǎo.
你好。

Xìexie.
谢谢。

Wǒ zài kàn shū.
I am reading a book.
看书

Wǒ zài kǎn shù.
I am cutting trees.
砍树
Tone Diagram
1-5: one’s natural
comfortable voice range
high
mid-high
mid
mid-low
low
(5-5)
(3-5)
(2-1-4)
(5-1)
mā
má
mǎ
mà
Mā
má
mǎ
mà
Māmā mà mǎ.
Mǎ mà māmā.
Your Turn!
The 1st Tone (“Singing” tone)
Mā
The 2nd Tone (“Climbing” Tone)
So?
má
The 3rd Tone (“Growling” Tone)
mǎ
The 4th Tone (“Dropping” Tone)
No!
mà
The Revised Tone Chart
1st: singing tone (mā)
2nd: climbing tone (só)
4th: dropping tone (nò)
3rd: growling tone (mǎ)
5th: short and light (ma)
Can you hear the difference?
mā má mǎ mà
Which Tone did you hear?
Singing
ba – ba
ji – ji
Climbing
Growling Dropping
ma – ma de – de le – le
xi – xi
zi – zi
chi – chi
Can You Say It?
Singing
Climbing
Growling
Dropping
mā má mǎ mà
To Kiss or To Ask?
wěn
wèn
To Buy or To Sell?
mǎi
mài
Glasses or Eyes?
Yǎng Jìng
Yǎng Jīng
Cutting Trees or Reading?
Kǎn shù
Kàn shū
shīshì – accident
shíshì – current events
 sījī – chauffeur
sìjì – four seasons
 zìxí – self study
zǐxì – careful
 xǐshì – happy event
xīshì – to dilute
 shìjì – century
shíjì – practical

Who is he?
YáoMíng
Let’s Try
 Mā
 Mā
 Má
 Mǎ
Má
Mǎ
Mǎ
Má
Mǎ
Má
Mà
Mā
Mà
Mà
Mā
Mǎ
Change of Tones (1)

Two 3rd tones
Nǐhǎo mā? → Ní hǎo ma?
Wǒ hěn hǎo. → Wǒ hén hǎo.(3-2-3)
Wó hén hǎo. (2-2-3)
Change of Tones (2)

The number “1” (the character “一”):
1, 11, 21 → 1st tone
一双 → yìshuāng (4-1)
一瓶 → yìpíng (4-2)
一种 → yìzhǒng (4-3)
一罐 → yíguàn (2-4)
一个 → yíge (2-0)
Change of Tones (3)

The character “不”
不吃: bùchī
(4-1)
不行: bùxíng (4-2)
不冷: bùlěng (4-3)
不热: bùrè (4-4)→ búrè (2-4)
Tones and Intonation

Chinese tones = English intonation?
OK?
OK.
Nǐ yào chá háishi kāfēi?
Nǐ yào chá háishi kāféi?
Expression:
Stress & Sentence Tunes

她很好看。
她很好看。
(required in grammar)
1 234
1 2 3 4
- 很 said with greater force.
- all syllables remain in their original tone.
In-Class Exercise

Counting numbers with hand gesture:
1 syllable: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
2 syllables: 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16…
3 syllables: 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26…..
In-Class Listening Exercise

Dictation on words of two syllables:
baoguo, hupi, chongqing, fanxing etc.
bāoguǒ →bāoguò
→ bāogǒu
In-Class Listening Exercise

1 class session on listening exercise
→ T: Chinese only; S: translate into E.

我们 系有很多外国学生。
→ Use words of the same category to give clues.

那个高个子的男孩是我男朋友。
→ Use resources available in the classroom
Homework

Practice on tone recognition:
http://www.pinyinpractice.com/tones.htm
http://www.shufawest.us/language/tonedr
ill.html
Homework: Sentence Dictation
- listen to sentences read in natural speed
-
write down answers in Chinese, not
English.
-
to reinforce sound recognition and to
associate sounds to the characters and
meaning they represent.
Tones! Tones! Tones!
-
Tones of a Chinese language is like the
foundation of a house.
-
You cannot be understood no matter how
fluent you are in Chinese without tones.
-
It is important to speak with correct tones
right at the beginning of Chinese language
study.
The End
Download

Listening Acquisition: