Fifth tone

Date: 2010-04-28 12:33 pm (UTC)
kake: The word "kake" written in white fixed-font on a black background. (Default)
From: [personal profile] kake
Fifth tone is coming in week 3! I was in two minds over whether to mention it in this post or not. I've read conflicting things over the best way to think of it — some sources describe it as voiceless or toneless, while others describe it as taking its pitch from wherever the previous tone in the word/sentence ended up.

I've been thinking of fifth-tone syllables as being said in a sort of "throwaway" way, almost not there (but not actually omittable). I also read somewhere (I can't remember where — possibly in a textbook which is sitting in one of these piles of books here) that the syllable before a toneless one is often elongated slightly — some of the videos I've listened to bear this out, but I don't know if it's a regional variation or more widespread.
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