Saturday, October 4, 2008

Pinyin table

This pinyin table is a complete listing of all Hanyu Pinyin syllables used in Standard Mandarin. Each syllable in a cell is composed of an and a . An empty cell indicates that the corresponding syllable does not exist in Standard Mandarin.

The below table indicates possible combinations of and in Standard Mandarin, but does not indicate , which are equally important to the proper pronunciation of Chinese. Although some initial-final combinations have some syllables using each of the 5 different tones, most do not. Some utilize only one tone.

Pinyin entries in this page can be compared to syllables using the Zhuyin phonetic system in the Zhuyin table page.

NOTE: many syllables are not pronounced similarly to the English conventions. For a more thorough explanation, please refer to the main Pinyin article.

are grouped into subsets ''a'', ''i'', ''u'' and ''ü''.

''i'', ''u'' and ''ü'' groupings indicate a combination of those finals with finals from Group ''a''. For example:
*Group ''i'': ''i''+''ao''=''iao'', ''i''+''ê''=''ie'', ''i''+''ou''=''iu''
*Group ''u'': ''u''+''ai''=''ui'', ''u''+''ing''=''ong''
*Group ''ü'': ''ü''+''ê''=''ue'', ''ü''+''ing''=''iong''

Most syllables are a combination of an initial and a final. However, some syllables have no initials. This is shown in Pinyin as follows:
*if the final begins with an ''i'', it is replaced with a ''y''
*if the final begins with an ''u'', it is replaced with a ''w''
*if the final begins with an ''ü'', it is replaced with ''yu''
*exceptions to the rules above are indicated by yellow in the table's ''no initial'' column:

Note that the ''y'', ''w'', and ''yu'' replacements above do not change the pronunciation of the final in the final-only syllable. They are used to avoid ambiguity when writing words in pinyin. For example, instead of:
*"uen" and "ian" forming "uenian", which could be interpreted as:
**"uen-i-an" or
*the syllables are written "wen" and "yan" which results in the more distinct "wenyan"

There are discrepancies between the bopomofo tables and the pinyin table due to the few standardization differences of a few slight characters between the mainland standard ''putonghua'' and the Taiwanese standard ''guoyu''. For example, the variant sounds 挼, 扽, 忒 are not used in ''guoyu''. Likewise the variant sound 孿 is not recognized in ''putonghua'', or it is folded into .

::Colour Legend:

::Modified i, u, and ü group finals:
::The following finals in the i, u, and ü groups are a modified combination of i, u or ü with a group a final:

er contraction

A few additional syllables are formed in pinyin by combining an initial-final combination from the table above with an additional er-final. Rather than two distinct syllables, the last "er" is contracted with the first combination, and therefore represented as one syllable .

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