A teacher from Xi’an recently told me that “wo3” (“I”) and “ni3” (“you”) are special and don’t have their tones changed to 2nd tone when followed by another 3rd tone. She was quite adamant about it, and very quick to catch this tone change each time I made it. I’ve never heard of this in my life, and no one’s ever brought this up regarding my pronunciation. In fact, I find two consecutive low-pitched 3rd tones a bit vocally difficult. Paying close attention to her pronunciation, I heard her saying “wo3” and “ni3” as full 3rd tones so that the tone bends upward before following 3rd tones, which is comfortable to do.
Do people have experience with this? Do your spoken “wo3” and “ni3” undergo normal tone sandhi, or are they always full 3rd tone when followed by another 3rd tone?
I would say that sandhi is even more prominent amongst many first gen late immigrants (those who came to Taiwan after 1949), where they really dramatically stress that second tone in sentences like 我告訴你
The point about emphasizing matches my experiences, but this person insists that there are no exceptions: “ni3” and “wo3” must always start out low, like a 3rd tone. I also presumed a regional or local dialect influence, but this is an educated person, connected to a major Chinese university in a province distant from her home region, and she was particularly sensitive to this pronunciation as an error. She’s systematic and precise. She seems too connected to some kind of pedagogical continuity so that it’s hard for me to just write it off as one of her quirks. She was far better at picking out my other tone errors than anyone else I’ve known in a long time.
Idk if it’s worth mentioning but I had no idea about this “sandhi” concept but from listening to a lot of speakers, I got used to applying this rule (pronouncing Wo3 as a 2nd tone when followed by another third tone)… I assume that means I’ve been listening to many people who do so as well!