Lesson 1 -pinyin-a & four tones
Hello,everyone.Today we're gonna start with the very first vowel of PinYin-a and four tones,and are you ready?
When you start learning Mandarin, you should begin with PinYin,the basic system of the pronunciation of Mandarin.And today I'm going to combine a with four tones together.
Actually, we got five tones,but the fifth is the netural tone.So I'm going to set it aside today. ^ ^
There are four tones in Chinese.
ā á ǎ à
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发音要领（Essentials of Pronunciation）
a The mouth is wide open. The tongue is flat and at its lowest position. The lips are not rounded.
Chinese is a tonal language. There are four basic tones in putonghua as shown by the following tone marks.
(1)第一声 The first tone高平调，用声调符号“-”表示，如mā。
The High and level Tone shown by "-", eg.
(2)第二声 The second tone 升调，用声调符号“ˊ”表示，如má。
The Rising Tone shown by"ˊ" eg.
(3)第三声 The third tone 降升调，用声调符号“ˇ”表示，如mǎ。
The Falling-and-Rising Tone shown by "ˇ" eg.
(4)第四声 The fourth tone 降调，用声调符号“ˋ”表示，如mà。
The Falling Tone shown by "ˋ" eg.
The phonetic symbols of putonghua (Standard Chinese) in Modern Chinese comprises 39 finals that are composed of voedls or vowel followed by nasal consonants. These finals fall into three categories:
(1)simple finals which have only a single vowel, eg. a,o;
(2)multi-finals which have two or three vowels, eg. ai,ua,iao;
(3)nasal finals which consist of one or two vowlels and a nasal consonant's eg. an,üan,eng,iong.
Most Syllables in Chinese are composed of initials, finals and tones. A small number of syllables, however,have only finals and tones, but not initials, eg. There are as many as 1200 syllables in putonghua