Nik Taylor wrote: >John Cowan wrote: >> Too strong. Mandarin has many toneless syllables, especially >> grammatical particles (their pitch is determined in a complex way >> by the tones of surrounding syllables). > >Ah, so these "toneless" syllables carry a tone determined solely by >their environment? Never knew that. Still, are there any lexical items >that are toneless? I believe that some lexical roots lose their inherent tone when they appear in compounds, but I could be wrong. It's been a few years since I studied Mandarin... Matt.