Neutral tone problems in multisyllabic words

  • The second syllable "情" in the word "事情" carries neutral tone.
  • The native speaker's tone contour is relatively flat (pitch range 20Hz), low (around 160Hz), and short (80ms).
  • The learners' tone contours exhibit rising trend (pitch 40-90Hz), higher pitch (160-260Hz) and longer duration (180-230ms) like a full Tone 2.

 

  • The second syllable "候" in the word "候" carries neutral tone.
  • The native speaker's tone contour is relatively flat (pitch range 20Hz), low (around 160Hz), and short (80ms).
  • The learners' tone contours exhibit clear falling trend (pitch range 50-100Hz), higher pitch (180-300Hz), and longer duration (130-180ms) like a full Tone 4.

Suggestions for teachers:

Apart from introducing common word with neutral tone,

  • remind students to shorten the duration of the word with neutral tone
  • remind students to flatten the pitch of the word with neutral tone
  • remind students to lower the pitch of the word with neutral tone

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