Pinyin pronunciation: w ([w] / [ʋ] / [v])

< Previous | Next >

gvergara

Senior Member
Español
Dear friends, I've just heard a recording in which the same girl, almost in a row, pronounces the name Wang in two different ways: with initial /w/ sound and with initial /v/ sound. Am I going nuts? Thanks in advance,

G.
 
Last edited:
  • stellari

    Senior Member
    Mandarin Chinese
    I noticed the realization of /w/ as /v/ tend to occur more frequently (if not exclusively) to northerners. Before I turned 18, I had always pronounce /w/ as a /v/ or something inbetween /w/ and /v/ (but not in wu and wo) and thought the /v/ sound is the correct realization (So /wang/ would be /vang/ to me, but /wu/ is still /wu/). It wasn't until I went to college in another city and realized that the standard should be /w/.

    So stick with /w/ but know that /v/ is a possible realization of the sound.
     

    Skatinginbc

    Senior Member
    Mandarin 國語
    The interchangeability of /w/ and /v/ is totally new to me. May I ask what /v/ stands for? Voiced labiodental fricative [v]? Or labiodental approximant [ʋ]?
     

    Thime

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Once I had a Chinese teacher who usually pronounce Wang as Vang. I refer to Value 的 /v/.
    I have always thought that it was a regional difference.
     
    I think it's /ʋ/ for most Chinese speakers, though /ʋ/ and /v/ are rather similar. I didn't realize the difference between them, until a foreigner pointed out that he could not hear my /v/ clearly. My /ʋ/ is faint, while his /v/ is a very firm one.
    Our /ʋ/ may occasionally become /v/, depending on how hard one articulates.

    It's unvoiced, like most Chinese consonants. So, labiodental approximant [ʋ], I believe it is.
    [ʋ] is voiced. :)
     
    Last edited:

    Skatinginbc

    Senior Member
    Mandarin 國語
    If [ʋ] is voiced, I really don't know what's the different between this and [v]...
    Dutch wang "cheek" is pronounced /wɑŋ/ in Belgium and /ʋɑŋ/ in Netherlands (audio: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/wang#Dutch). Compare them with English vang /væŋ/ (audio: http://inogolo.com/pronunciation/Vang or http://www.thefreedictionary.com/vang). Also Finnish vauva /ʋɑuʋːɑ/ "baby" (audio: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/vauva) has the labiodental approximant [ʋ]. The distinctive feature of [v] is the fricative, turbulent sound produced by constricting air flow through the lower lip and the upper teeth. The labiodental approximant [ʋ], though also articulated with the lower lip and the upper teeth, does not have that turbulent sound.
     

    xandersun

    Member
    English - US
    Moderator's Note: The following comments are moved from this thread.
    Sure. Chinese phonetics don't distinguish w and v sounds strictly. v is basically an "alternative" to the w sound... Anyway, I don't think you should worry too much in this level. No one would expect a foreigner to speak Chinese like a reporter. Even Chinese from different regions have their own accents.
    The teacher must be from the Shanghai/southeastern Yang-tze River region (only 80 million speakers out of 1.3 billion). The "v" sound exists in that dialect. Otherwise, I can't really think of any other major region in China where the "v" is even used (in any context).
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    xiaolijie

    Senior Member
    UK
    English (UK)
    The "v" sound exists in that dialect.
    What do you mean my this? As part of the phonology system in the dialect? Or as something you can hear in people's speech? Explain it clearly or it can only add to the confusion.

    Speaking of confusion, I find the question in this thread confusing, and can therefore render effort to help ineffective: the title is about "ang" but the question is about the contrast between /ŋ/ and /n/. And yet the text is about /iang/, which is a complete different sound to /ang/ (and similarly, /ian/ vs /an/). As if this is not confusing enough, there is also a discussion of the contrast between /w/ and /v/!
     

    xandersun

    Member
    English - US
    Yes, as part of the phonology of the Shanghainese/southeastern Yang-tze river region (i.e., the Wu dialect). You hear the "v" sound in the day to day dialect speech of the region. I am simply pointing out as a practical matter that if you are in other areas of China or the Chinese speaking world (Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, etc.) you will never hear the "v" sound, as that sound is not part of the formal phonology of Mandarin, Cantonese, Fukienese, or other dialects. Speaking Mandarin with a v sound immediately marks you as someone from Shanghai or its environs. You usually only hear this with older people or folks from the countryside who don't speak Mandarin well.

    This is not to ding the teacher -- as I said it "usually" but not "always" means someone does not speak Mandarin well. Who doesn't slip into their childhood pronunciation patterns every once in a while? I live in basically the north of the U.S. but grew up in the south. But I still slip into "yall" (for "you") every once in a while. ;)
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    SuperXW

    Senior Member
    The teacher must be from the Shanghai/southeastern Yang-tze River region (only 80 million speakers out of 1.3 billion). The "v" sound exists in that dialect. Otherwise, I can't really think of any other major region in China where the "v" is even used (in any context).
    Let's not to say "v" or "w", because we may have different ways to define these sounds.
    What I meant was, to pronounce an English "w", your teeth never touch your lip. Do you?
    And when you pronounce "v", your teeth always touch your lip.
    Now the Chinese way (in Mandarin and most dialects), people don't care the position of their teeth. They are all regarded as "w". That may sometimes make foreigner perceive a "v" sound.
     

    xandersun

    Member
    English - US
    From just a personal experience having grown up speaking English and Mandarin and -- as luck would have it -- having learned a little Dutch, I feel as though I am quite sensitive to the [v] (English v) and [ʋ] (sometimes Dutch v(w)) pronunciations. I find it difficult to pronounce the Dutch-like [ʋ], because my inclination is always to make it sound like the English [v]. The [ʋ] sound is like what I think you are saying some Chinese make when pronouncing words such as "wang".

    I personally feel as though I have rarely encountered Mandarin speakers in Taipei or Beijing (both of where I have lived) who produce the
    [ʋ] sound (I think I would pick up on it, because I definitely hear the difference when a word like "wind" is pronounced the English way as opposed to the Dutch way) and definitely never the [v] sound. I remember as a child when learning bo po mo fo in America, I would often pick up on how may parents' Taiwanese/Southern Chinese-influenced pronunciation of Mandarin would differ from the formal Chinese we were being taught -- no retroflexing, confusing f's and h's, not distinguishing between "ing"/"in" -- but I never noticed a pronunciation of any variant of [ʋ] in place of [w].

    The Shanghai "v", which I am not sure how exactly to represent but seems to me to fall more towards the spectrum of the
    [v] sound is very apparent to the ear (of both Chinese and English speakers). When visiting Shanghai, I do feel I hear a sound more approximate to the [ʋ] sometimes when a native Shanghainese is speaking Mandarin, and I feel that could be the person catching themselves from pronouncing the full Shanghainese "v" as they know (either consciously or subconsciously) that that sound does not exist phonologically in formal Mandarin.

    Perhaps there is a larger regional Mandarin speaking area where the
    [ʋ] and [w] sounds become conflated. However, I am curious to know if people feel like they hear this in Taiwan or the very north of China?


     

    Ghabi

    Senior Member
    Cantonese
    For the sake of comparison, one can hear the Shanghainese /v/ here, for example. But I think it should be pointed out that the phoneme /v/ exists in a number of dialects, not just in the Wu ones (In historical Chinese phonology the Middle-Chinese initial 奉母 is often reconstructed as [v], while the initial 微母, although not reconstructed as so, has become partly or wholly [v] in many modern dialects).
     
    胡明扬 北京话声母w的音值《北京话初探》 商务印书馆 1987
    从我们1981年4月在北京的调查来看,不论新老北京人,绝大多数都有/ʋ/这个音。在一百个调查对象中九十人有/ʋ/,其他十人中一人发音不稳定,九人没有/ʋ/;但是这九个人中一人是蒙族新北京人,八人集中在西郊人民大学校园内,这似乎不是偶然的。在人民大学校园内绝大多数人是外地人,他们的发音对只占绝对少数的北京人发音会有影响。因此我们可以认为,即使不是全体北京人,至少是大多数(90%)北京人在前高元音前面声母w读作唇齿半元音/ʋ/。
    沈炯 北京话合口呼零声母的语音分歧《中国语文》1987年第5期
    城区及海淀镇一带是 v 型比例数较高的一个片。近郊是 v 型比例数相当低的一个环形片,远郊西、西北一片和东部一片的 v 型比例数极高,跟承德的情形相似。[...]本文试图用语音的社会标准发生定向漂移来解释,北京音系完成 /v/ + /w/ → /w/ 的归并后,北京城区又在经历一次 /w/ → /w + v/ → /v + w/ 的新的演变过程。
    林焘、沈炯 北京话儿化韵的语音分歧《中国语文》1995年第3期
    北京话声母w远郊以v音为主,近郊以w音为主,城区又以v音为主,形成一个v型发音的环形山形势,也有一条大约45°倾斜的中轴线,只是所覆盖的面积比较宽。北京官话的历史发展早已形成了一个东北宽阔西南狭窄的袋形北京官话区,在这个区域中,北京话又是处在一条45°倾斜的方言分界线上的方言岛。
     

    xandersun

    Member
    English - US
    Yes, I suppose there must be other Chinese dialects that have retained the /v/ phoneme. But as among the "major" dialects (though in the face of Mandarin, all other dialects seem quite small in comparison :p) the Wu dialect is the only one that sees it used prevalently, if I am not mistaken. In any event, I think people in Hong Kong and Taiwan immediately suspect anyone (whether rightly or wrongly) as being Shanghainese, if they pronounce a word with any wisp of any variant of the /v/ phoneme. Though it appears that, in fact, from the post by YangMuye, that Beijingers do, in fact, employ the /v/ phoneme more than I suspected. Just my world was little insular (circulating among university students as opposed to the locals).
    胡明扬 北京话声母w的音值《北京话初探》 商务印书馆 1987

    沈炯 北京话合口呼零声母的语音分歧《中国语文》1987年第5期

    林焘、沈炯 北京话儿化韵的语音分歧《中国语文》1995年第3期
    哎哟! 真有意思. 我以前就是住在海淀区,但是往往都是跟大学生一般交流。难怪没常听到/v/声。我确实有听到/v/声的记忆,但是以前总觉得只是偶尔的现象。没想到是自己封锁了自己的经验!
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Youngfun

    Senior Member
    Wu Chinese & Italian
    Quite the contrary, xandersun.
    The Shanghainese (like most Wu dialects) have both /w/ and /v/, and when they pronounce Mandarin they NEVER confuse them, they always pronounce w as [w].
    While Beijingers and many Northerners often pronouce w as [ʋ], although only in some words (e.g. almost always in 味, but never in 我).

    I also used to think that they pronouced [v], but now that I know the difference, I say definitely that what they pronouce is usually not [v], but [ʋ]; althought in 2nd and 3rd tones (low tones=more voicing) it could also be pronounced as [v].

    On the other hand, Wenzhounese dialect does have /ʋ/, and many of them imitate the Northern style of pronunciation using this sound.

    Personally, I think that [v] is "more voiced" than
    [ʋ] - maybe that's the reason why Super thought that the latter is "unvoiced".
     

    SuperXW

    Senior Member
    哎哟! 真有意思. 我以前就是住在海淀区,但是往往都是跟大学生一般交流。难怪没常听到/v/声。我确实有听到/v/声的记忆,但是以前总觉得只是偶尔的现象。没想到是自己封锁了自己的经验!
    我同意Yongfun的说法。
    我已经说过,你对[v]的概念未必和我们一样。很多人也说了,那个音未必是国际音标的[v],可能是写作[ʋ](我不太懂音标)。
    你理解的[v]大概有较明显的送气或浊化,像英语的[v]音,那个音应该能听出来。
    而我和某些人所谓的[v]音,只要牙齿碰到下唇就算,口型是[v],但未必能靠声音分别出来。
    做这个口型会比标准的[w]省力,发音又几乎一样,所以很多人会用这个口型代替。
    比如Youngfun所举的「味」字,即使是普通话很标准的人,也极少会用[w]的口型去讲。
    [w]的口型要努嘴。所以你可以试下观察人们的口型,而不是靠听声音,就明白我说的意思了。
     
    Last edited:

    Skatinginbc

    Senior Member
    Mandarin 國語
    In historical Chinese phonology the Middle-Chinese initial 奉母 is often reconstructed as [v]
    奉母, which has reflexes in Japanese /b/, Korean /b/, and Literary Sino-Viet /ph/, has been variously reconstructed as: 王力 [*b̪], 高本漢 [*bʰ] or [*pʰ], 董同龢 [*bʰ], 周法高 [*b], Baxter-Sagart [*b] or [*pʰ], and Sergei Starostin [*bʰ] > [*b].
    the initial 微母, although not reconstructed as so, has become partly or wholly [v] in many modern dialects.
    "中古微母[*ɱ]只在官话中向[v]、[ʋ]、[w]转化,在其他方言中多向[m]、[mb]、转化" (http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/微母). 微母從[*ɱ]變為[*v]或[*ʋ]的最早例證出現於蒙漢對音材料(e.g., 八思巴文字、《蒙古字韵》等做出的擬音中). Altaic sprachbund (e.g., 哈爾濱, 呼和浩特, 石家庄, 太原, 西安, 蘭州, 銀川, 烏魯木齊等地)普遍有微母v化的現象.
    吳語的「微母v化」似乎是受早期官话的影響. 證據: (1)缺一致性 (e.g., 味: 上海 vi vs. 温州 mei); (2) 有「文讀v, 白讀m」的有趣現象 (e.g., 望: 蘇州 lit. va_ŋ vs. col. ma_ŋ; 上海 lit. va_̃ vs. col. ma_̃); (3)詩詞文章常見的字念/v/ (e.g., 文: 上海 ŋ, 蘇州 vǝn, 温州 vaŋ), 只在口語常用的字念 /m/ (e.g., 蚊: 上海 mǝn, 蘇州 mǝn, 温州 maŋ)
     

    Ghabi

    Senior Member
    Cantonese
    While Beijingers and many Northerners often pronouce w as [ʋ], although only in some words (e.g. almost always in 味, but never in 我).
    跟/w/之後的元音有關嗎?其他字又如何?
    奉母, which has reflexes in Japanese /b/, Korean /b/, and Literary Sino-Viet /ph/, has been variously reconstructed as: 王力 [*b̪], 高本漢 [*bʰ] or [*pʰ], 董同龢 [*bʰ], 周法高 [*b], Baxter-Sagart [*b] or [*pʰ], and Sergei Starostin [*bʰ] > [*b].
    奉母是輕唇音,不是重唇(重唇的是並母),記憶中構擬成[v]或[bv]......但這好像有點跑題了。
     

    SuperXW

    Senior Member
    跟/w/之後的元音有關嗎?其他字又如何?
    我觉得有关,基本上就是为了方便、舒服。试一下就知道了。
    w需要撅嘴,撅嘴后再发扁口型的ei就等于多做了个动作,所以简化成v。
    wei中wo中的o已经要撅嘴了,没办法变成v的口型,所以是w。
    有反例吗?
     

    Skatinginbc

    Senior Member
    Mandarin 國語
    跟/w/之後的元音有關嗎?
    太原话: 我 ŋǝ (< MC *ŋấ) vs. 瓦 va, 外 vai, 萬 vä̃, 亡 va_̃, vei, 問 vuŋ, 翁 vuŋ, 臥 vǝ, 物 vǝʔ.
    西安话: ŋô (< MC *ŋấ) vs. 瓦 ua (< MC *ŋwạ́), 外 ue (< MC *ŋwầj), 萬 vä̃, 亡 vaŋ, vei, 問 vẽ, 翁 uoŋ (< MC *ʔuŋ), 臥 uo (< MC *ŋwầ), 物 vo.
    好像跟中古聲母有關.
     

    Skatinginbc

    Senior Member
    Mandarin 國語
    Does /v-/ occur in any of the following words? 誣, 巫, 無, 蕪, 武, 舞, 憮, 鵡, 侮, 務, 物, 勿, 戊, 霧.
     

    Skatinginbc

    Senior Member
    Mandarin 國語
    Thanks for the link, YangMuye. The 西安 data show a consistent *ɱ- > v- sound change regardless of the vowel, and it is the common ground shared with the 太原 data. Unfortunately, no 微母字 is used to represent the /wu/ sound in your linked article. I'm not sure if the percentage for /vu/ in the Beijing dialect has been underestimated or not, and that's why I asked about certain words in #29.
     

    xandersun

    Member
    English - US
    This rather eye-opening and very interesting. I was always told as a child in Taiwan that only people who speak the Wu dialect(s) pronounce the /v/ like sounds. I think after 1949, when lots of the older Shanghai bourgeoisie fled (mostly to Hong Kong though?), people were exposed to Shanghainese who didn't speak Mandarin so well (same as the people in Hong Kong and Taiwan! ;)). Would it be safe to say if you encounter someone who speaks with a southern accent (does not retroflex) and is older, it could be a Wu speaker with some interference from the childhood tongue, but if they speak with a pronounced "standard" northern retroflexed accent, then the /v/ quality is as described by YangMuye?

    Next time I go to Shanghai I'm going to have to pay more attention when I hear a /v/ sound being pronounced. It could very well have been northern immigrants to Shanghai!
     

    Youngfun

    Senior Member
    Wu Chinese & Italian
    记得一个东北的生物老师把“无机”读成vu1 ji1。

    "中古微母[*ɱ]只在官话中向[v]、[ʋ]、[w]转化,在其他方言中多向[m]、[mb]、转化" (http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/微母). 微母從[*ɱ]變為[*v]或[*ʋ]的最早例證出現於蒙漢對音材料(e.g., 八思巴文字、《蒙古字韵》等做出的擬音中). Altaic sprachbund (e.g., 哈爾濱, 呼和浩特, 石家庄, 太原, 西安, 蘭州, 銀川, 烏魯木齊等地)普遍有微母v化的現象.
    吳語的「微母v化」似乎是受早期官话的影響. 證據: (1)缺一致性 (e.g., 味: 上海 vi vs. 温州 mei); (2) 有「文讀v, 白讀m」的有趣現象 (e.g., 望: 蘇州 lit. va_ŋ vs. col. ma_ŋ; 上海 lit. va_̃ vs. col. ma_̃); (3)詩詞文章常見的字念/v/ (e.g., 文: 上海 ŋ, 蘇州 vǝn, 温州 vaŋ), 只在口語常用的字念 /m/ (e.g., 蚊: 上海 mǝn, 蘇州 mǝn, 温州 maŋ)

    完全同意。

    我叔叔文化程度不是很高,有一次写了“门虫”。:D (蚊虫)

    温州还有:问(动词)maŋ vsvaŋ(数字)ma vs 千 (absolutely) or 里长城 va .

    Nop. It's about the vowel. Nothing to do with the characters.
    个人觉得,在同个元音前也可能会有差异:越是口语的字越容易发音成[ʋ],而越是复杂的字越容易发音成[w]。
    比如:味
    [ʋ] vs 畏 [w]。你觉得那?
     

    SuperXW

    Senior Member
    温州还有:问(动词)maŋ vsvaŋ(数字)ma vs 千 (absolutely) or 里长城 va .

    个人觉得,在同个元音前也可能会有差异:越是口语的字越容易发音成[ʋ],而越是复杂的字越容易发音成[w]。
    比如:味
    [ʋ] vs 畏 [w]。你觉得那?
    我的观点已经表达清楚。我只代表北京观点,不懂在每种方言的历史中寻找联系。
    至少以我作为北京人的经验,选用哪种口型纯粹是个心理因素,说话的人又不懂历史,也没怎么接触外地人,对于这种细枝末节的发音问题,我认为受「省事」心态影响更重。
    你说的:越是口语的字越容易发音成[ʋ],而越是复杂的字越容易发音成[w],我觉得是完全可能的。
    这是因为,讲「复杂」或「正式」的字时,比如「畏」,你脑中想着它的意思就会随之紧张,自然发得更标准些。
    而「日常」「非书面」的字,像「味」,就容易偷懒了。就这么简单。
    广东话中普遍存在「懒音」等问题,受到什么影响?当然有些是历史或地域的影响,但有些就是「懒」……
     
    Last edited:

    Skatinginbc

    Senior Member
    Mandarin 國語
    Thank you, YangMuye and SuperXW, for answering my question. I'm now convinced that the Beijing /v/ is the result of a "new development" (新的演变过程) as stated in 沈炯 北京话合口呼零声母的语音分歧《中国语文》1987年第5期 (cited by YangMuye in #20).
     

    Youngfun

    Senior Member
    Wu Chinese & Italian
    我的观点已经表达清楚。我只代表北京观点,不懂在每种方言的历史中寻找联系。
    我说的前面那句话只是补充Skatingbc的话,跟本主题无关。
    另外,Skatingbc指的那几个语音演变不能说明什么。有可能官话的 w 演变成吴语的 v。不能说明当时官话的w已经变成v。
    广东话中普遍存在「懒音」等问题,受到什么影响?当然有些是历史或地域的影响,但有些就是「懒」……
    我也觉得广东话有一样的趋势,比如“你”是最容易发音 [l]。而书面语的字,很多人都没有懒音,清楚地发[n]。
     

    Skatinginbc

    Senior Member
    Mandarin 國語
    有可能官话的 w 演变成吴语的 v。不能说明当时官话的w已经变成v。
    (1) 微母: 中古 *ɱ > 元代官话 *v (==> 借入吳語 /v/. For instance, 尾: 上海文讀 vi vs. 白讀 mi).
    (2) 疑母, 影母, 喻母, 匣母: 中古 *ŋw, *ʔw, *jw, *ɣw > w. (cf. 温州: 危 ńy, 汪 uɔ, 王 ɦyɔ, 丸 ɦy).
    According to this article (http://www.pkucn.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=36461&page=2 cited by YangMuye):
    (1) + (2) = 微母/V/ + 其他聲母/W/ → /V + w/ + /W + v/ → /W + v/ → Beijing /W/ (Note: 元代仍然有独立的微母, 明代晚期微母已并入影母 http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/微母). And now the Beijing dialect is undergoing a new development ("城区正在经历一次新的演变过程"): /W/ → /W + v/ → /V + w/.

    To sum up,
    微母/V/ may come from:
    (1) Beijing dialect as a result of a new sound change: w > v
    (2) Other Mandarin dialects (e.g., 西安) as a result of 中古 *ɱ > v (without going through /w/. "中古微母至今在西安话中保留 V 型发音,而影疑喻(云)三母这一类字使用 W 型发音.").
    (3) Other Chinese languages as a result of borrowing
    疑母, 影母, 喻母, 匣母/V/may come from:
    (1) Beijing dialect as a result of a new sound change: w > v
    (2) 山西 Mandarin dialects as a result of 微母/V/ + 其他聲母/W/ → /V + w/ → /V/ (http://www.pkucn.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=36461&page=2).
    the same girl, almost in a row, pronounces the name Wang in two different ways: with initial /w/ sound and with initial /v/ sound. Am I going nuts?
    Obviously, the speaker is treating /w-/ and /v-/ as free allophones for the same word Wang (it is thus not "conditioned" by the vowel). In the Beijing dialect, /w-/ and /v-/ are treated by some as free allophones and by others as conditioned allophones ("有的人将它用成自由变体,有的人将它用成条件变体" http://www.pkucn.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=36461&page=2). So what you heard is probably a feature specific to the Beijing dialect. She doesn't seem to be a Wu speaker because 王 (喻母) is pronounced as ua_̃ (上海), ɦua_ŋ (蘇州), or ɦyɔ (温州) in the Wu language.
     
    Last edited:
    < Previous | Next >
    Top