Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics

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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 pitch patt…

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Yiya CHEN, “Neutral Tone”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 31 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_000162>
First published online: 2015

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