Tone is referred to as the pitch contour of the sylllable. Mardarin has four contour tones and a neutral tone. The tone is indicated by a diacritic over a vowel, or as a number following syllable.
|1. Level pitch (mid range)|
|2. Rising pitch|
|3. Falling– rising pitch|
|5. Neutral tone||no tone mark|
Tone is an inherent part of the Mandarin syllable, and hence Mandarin uses tones to distinguish meaning.Numbers could also be used to identify a particular tone.Each tone with its specific number as shown below.
|Ma (ma5) neutral||question particle|