Tianjin Mandarin is a member of the northern Mandarin Chinese family (ISO 693-3: [cmn]). It is spoken in the urban areas of the Tianjin Municipality (CN-12) in the People's Republic of China, which is about 120 kilometers to the southeast of Beijing. Existing studies on Tianjin Mandarin have focused mainly on its tonal aspects, especially its intriguing tone sandhi system, with few studies examining the segmental aspects (on tone, see e.g. Li & Liu 1985, Shi 1986, Liu 1993, Lu 1997, Wang & Jiang 1997, Chen 2000, Liu & Gao 2003, Ma 2005, Ma & Jia 2006, Zhang & Liu 2011, Li & Chen 2016; on segmental aspects, see e.g. Han 1993a, b; Wee, Yan & Chen 2005). As also noted in Wee et al. (2005), this is probably due to the similarity in segmental structures between Tianjin Mandarin and Standard Chinese, especially among speakers of the younger generation, and what differentiates the two Mandarin varieties is most notably their tonal systems. The aim of the present description is therefore to provide a systematic phonetic description of both segmental and tonal aspects of Tianjin Mandarin, with main focus on the tonal aspects.
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