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Chinese Phonology

The phonological formation of each syllable includes a basis consisting of a vowel (which can be a monophthong, diphthong, or even a triphthong in certain diversity) with a not obligatory beginning or postscript correspondence as well as a pitch. There are a few cases where a vowel is not used as a basis. An example of this is in Cantonese, where the nasal sonorant consonants /m/ and /ŋ/ can unrelate as their personal syllable.

Throughout all the spoken varieties, most syllables are inclined to be open syllables, meaning they have no coda, but syllables that do have codas are limited to /m/, /n/, /ŋ/, /p/, /t/, /k/, or /ʔ/. Some multiplicity allows most of these codas, while the others, such as Mandarin, are limited to only two, namely /n/ and /ŋ/. Consonant array do not usually take place in either the onset or coda. The onset may be an implosive or a consonant followed by a semivowel, but these are not normally considered as consonant clusters.

The frequency of sound in the dissimilar spoken vernacular differs, but in common there has been a propensity to a decrease in sounds from Middle Chinese. The Mandarin vernacular in particular has experienced a remarkable decline in sounds and so has far more multisyllabic words than most other spoken varieties. The sum of syllables in some diversity is hence only about a thousand, counting tonal variation.

All varieties of spoken Chinese use tones. A few vernacular of north China may have as less as three tones, while some dialects in south China around 6 or 10 tones, depending on the counting procedures. One exemption from this is Shanghainese which has minimized the set of tones to a two-toned pitch accent system much like modern Japanese.


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