Flickserve wrote:Axon wrote:
Mandarin pronunciation before 1950 wasn't THAT different from today, but in very old recordings you can definitely hear something quite removed from modern speech. Here's Sun Yat-Sen.
Has anyone come across courses with audio for Chinese in a pre-Standard Mandarin era?
Had a listen. Don't take this as being Mandarin. It's heavily accented Cantonese.
I think this is an attempt at speaking Mandarin, but he does pronounce some words as straight Cantonese. I think this because too many of his pronunciations are straight modern Mandarin and also unlike Cantonese.
For example, his 文明 sounds just like Mandarin by beginning with w- (instead of m-) and with mid-rising tones for both morphemes, his (來)朝 also ends in -ao with a mid-rising tone (instead of Cantonese -iu or Hakka -eu in a lower-register tone), and he pronounces 這一個時候 with a perfect Mandarin zhe4 yige shi2hou4, with clear high-falling tones for 這 and 候.
However, his (世)界 is straight Cantonese gaai3 and unlike Mandarin jie4, and so is his 到. I also find it surprising he doesn't use a mid-rising tone for 國 (using a level tone instead as in Cantonese), considering 中國 is obviously a key word to know the sound of.
It is also curious that at 1:31 he pronounces 現在 as something like "sanzaa" [sɐntsaː], but a few seconds later at 1:36 he pronounces it more like Mandarin xian4zai4 [ɕjɛn tsai].