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Forum Rocket Chinese Chinese Feedback and Comments Why is "shénme" pronounced the way that it is?

Why is "shénme" pronounced the way that it is?



Why is the word "shénme" pronounced with the intonation of the voice low at first and then rising and ending on "me"? The intonation mark is confusing to me because at first glance, the mark would seem to mean that the voice starts low and then rises on "shén" then "me" would end with the voice slightly trailing down. Why is it that the intonation mark seems to apply for the entire word? How does one determine if the intonation mark applies to the whole word and not just part of the word?


你好 Laura, The rising pitch should only occur on the syllable "shén" and the "me" should be toneless. Although the tone is on the first syllable, it naturally carries over onto the second syllable that has no stress. This often happens with 'toneless' syllables whereby traces of the previous syllables tone can be heard. 希望这会有帮助 - I hope this has been of some help. - Lin Ping

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