Tone 3 pronounced as Tone 1 in monosyllabic words

  • The native speaker's tone contour provides a typical representation of Tone 3 (tone value 2-1-4), the pitch value falls from the 1st to the 4th timepoint, forms a dipping point in the middle of the tone contour, and then rises from the 5th to the 10th timepoint. Pitch value ranges from 170Hz to 250Hz.
  • The learners' reading of “謊” is close to Tone 1. The pitch contours are flat (difference between minimum and maximum pitch values is around 10-20Hz) and high (average pitch value is around 250Hz), compared with the native speaker's.

Suggestions for teachers:

  • provide students with visualization of Tone 3 contour to help them understand change of pitch values for Mandarin
  • emphasize the importance of the dipping part in the middle of Tone 3 pronunciation

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