Sidney Lau Cantonese Romanization System
Pronunciation Guide – Tones
Each row of the Tones table contains:
- the Sidney Lau System representation of a Cantonese tone,
- a description of the tone,
- a Cantonese example word (or two) in that tone,
- the Cantonese character(s) for the Cantonese example word(s),
- the meaning(s) of the Cantonese example word(s),
- optional comments.
|1° signifies the high flat tone. If ° appears after tones 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6, it signifies that the word should be pronounced in tone 1°, and that 1° is not the original/normal tone of the word.|
|1||high falling||tim1||添||Final Particle|
|In modern Hong Kong Cantonese, very few words are spoken in this tone. This is one of the few exceptions.|
|If * appears after tones 1, 3, 4, 5, or 6, it signifies that the word should be pronounced in tone 2, and that 2 is not the original/normal tone of the word.|
|3||mid flat||si3||試||try|| |
|4||low falling||si4||時||time|| |
|5||low rising||si5||市||city|| |
|6||low flat||si6||是||is|| |
In the Martha Lam and Stanley Po system, the tones are represented by diacritics (i.e. symbols written above the words). Note that the high falling tone and high flat tone are not differentiated – they are written in the same way, and both pronounced in the high flat tone.
|N°||1||2 or N*||3||4||5||6 |
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