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Table 2 A syllable defined by its contrasting features

From: That “certain cut”: towards a characterology of Mandarin Chinese

Qiān contrasts with: In respect of: The contrasting syllable is: Whereas qian is:
quān POSTURE (initial) quān w-prosodic [labial] y-prosodic [palatal]
xiān MANNER xiān Continuant Obstruent [affricated]
jiān VOICE ONSET jiān Early [unaspirated] Late [aspirated]
qiāng POSTURE (final) qiāng w-prosodic [backing] y-prosodic [fronting]
qiē RESONANCE qiē Oral Nasal
qīn APERTURE qīn Half-close Open
qián/qiǎn/qiàn TONE qián Rising (high) level
   qiǎn Falling-rising  
   qiàn Falling