Neutral Tone
(5,536 words)

Běijīng Mandarin is commonly described as having four tones (Běijīng, The Language of). Yet this apparently simple assertion turns out to be a complicated and controversial question, because it depends on the status of the so-called neutral tone. The term neutral tone, known in Chinese as qīngshēng 輕聲 'light tone', was first introduced by Chao in the 1920s (Chao 2002) to describe the pit…

Cite this page
Yiya CHEN, “Neutral Tone”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 29 May 2017 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_000162>
First published online: 2015



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