|Native to||People's Republic of China|
|Region||City of Tianjin |
Malaysia, Sabah, Tianjin Town
|Approx. 6 million est.[ citation needed ]|
The Tianjin dialect (simplified Chinese :天津话; traditional Chinese :天津話; pinyin :Tiānjīnhuà) is a Mandarin dialect spoken in the city of Tianjin, China. It is comprehensible to speakers of other Mandarin dialects, though its greatest deviation from the others lies in its individual tones, and the lack of retroflex consonants. The regional characteristics make the dialect an important part of the Tianjin city identity, and sharply contrasts with the dialect of nearby Beijing, despite relatively similar phonology.
The Tianjin dialect is classified under Jilu Mandarin, a subdivision of Mandarin Chinese dialects also spoken in Hebei and Shandong provinces.Despite Tianjin being a neighbour of Beijing, its dialect sounds very different from the Beijing dialect, which is the basis for Standard Chinese.
The tones of the Tianjin dialect correspond to those of the Beijing dialect (and hence Standard Chinese) as follows:
|Tone name||1 Yin Ping||2 Yang Ping||3 Shang||4 Qu|
|Tianjin||˨˩ (21)||˧˥ (35)||˩˩˧ (113)||˥˧ (53)|
|Beijing||˥ (55)||˧˥ (35)||˨˩˦ (214)||˥˩ (51)|
The differences are minor except for the first tone: Where it is high and level in Beijing, it is low and falling in Tianjin. All words with the first tone, including the name "Tianjin", are affected, giving the Tianjin dialect a downward feel to people from Beijing.
The Tianjin dialect also includes four tone sandhi rules, more than the Beijing dialect. They are,
There are some other patterns that differentiate the Tianjin dialect from the Beijing dialect. One is the pronunciation of 饿 (餓) as wò (臥) instead of è.
Lastly, the Tianjin dialect lacks the retroflex consonants (捲舌音) prevalent in Beijing, not unlike Taiwanese Mandarin. Thus, zh (ㄓ) becomes z (ㄗ), sh (ㄕ) becomes s (ㄙ), ch (ㄔ) becomes c (ㄘ), and r (ㄖ) becomes y (一) — that is, 人 is pronounced yěn instead of rén, and 讓 is pronounced yàng (樣) instead of ràng. However, the use of the -er (儿) diminutive is common in the Tianjin dialect, as it is throughout the north and northeast. (See: Erhua.)
Chinese speakers commonly stereotype the Tianjin dialect as aggressive- or confrontational-sounding, though it is not difficult for speakers of other Mandarin dialects to understand.
Chinese is a group of languages that form the Sinitic branch of the Sino-Tibetan languages, spoken by the ethnic Han Chinese majority and many minority ethnic groups in Greater China. About 1.3 billion people speak a variety of Chinese as their first language.
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Tone is the use of pitch in language to distinguish lexical or grammatical meaning – that is, to distinguish or to inflect words. All verbal languages use pitch to express emotional and other paralinguistic information and to convey emphasis, contrast and other such features in what is called intonation, but not all languages use tones to distinguish words or their inflections, analogously to consonants and vowels. Languages that have this feature are called tonal languages; the distinctive tone patterns of such a language are sometimes called tonemes, by analogy with phoneme. Tonal languages are common in East and Southeast Asia, Africa, the Americas and the Pacific; and as many as seventy percent of world languages are tonal.
Sandhi is a cover term for a wide variety of sound changes that occur at morpheme or word boundaries. Examples include fusion of sounds across word boundaries and the alteration of one sound depending on nearby sounds or the grammatical function of the adjacent words. Sandhi belongs to morphophonology.
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