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Brief Overview of Tujia Pronunciation
The sound system of Tujia is almost identical to that of the local Chinese Mandarin dialect, which is itself similar to the national putonghua form of Mandarin Chinese. When transcribing the archive data, we have therefore adopted an experimental orthography closely modelled on the standard pinyin spelling system used for Chinese. Each syllable in Tujia consists of an initial consisting of a consonant, and a final consisting of a simple or compound vowel (with optional nasalisation represented by final n or ng). Tone is indicated by a superscripted number.
The tones are similar to those in putonghua and are numbered accordingly: 1 = high level, 2 = high rising, 3 = low falling, and 4 = high falling. The approximate pronunciations of the initials and finals are given in the tables below.