I think that's very unlikely in any nation where almost everyone listens to radio and watches TV. The media have been a powerful force for leveling dialect differences in America, but also in the U.K. and even in sprawling, multinational hispanophone Latin America. There's no "system" of tonal differences. The differences between the meaning of the same one-syllable morpheme with the four tones (in Mandarin; other Chinese languages have as many as twelve) are utterly arbitrary. Not to mention with only 1,600 syllables possible in Mandarin phonetics, each morpheme has, on the average, three homonyms. There are no patterns here. Indeed. Cantonese, Shanghai and Fujian are the three besides Mandarin that we might conceivably encounter, since the people from those regions are all travelers. But there are several more. It's completely impossible. They are different languages. Since they're closely related (same words, same grammar, same syntax) it's not as hard for a speaker of one to learn another as it would be, say for a German to learn Vietnamese, but probably harder than for a Norwegian to learn Danish or a Finn to learn Estonian. If Chinese people want to communicate across language boundaries they have to do it in writing, which is the same for everybody. Since the communist takeover, making the entire population fluent in Mandarin has been a primary goal of the government--which, of course, is located in Beijing, the center of the Mandarin-speaking region. The people in Beijing call Mandarin guo yu, "national language," but people in other regions often simply call it bei jing hua, "Beijing speech." So currently all schools teach Mandarin and in non-Mandarin regions many classes are taught in Mandarin to encourage the children to adopt it as their primary language. Long before that happens, everyone under 40 will be fluent in Mandarin so the problem will have gone away. At this point they will be able to institute the phonetic writing system that has been waiting in the wings for decades. It will no longer be necessary to write in han zi in order to be sure that a person in Sichuan and a person in Liaoning can understand each other. Chinese is far more expressive, adaptable, and easier to speak and understand than English. It's a tremendous resource for the country as it tries to catch up from so many years of incompetent leadership. They'd be fools to adopt English, and if we've learned one thing about the Chinese people, they are not fools. You're reading a whole lot more into tonality than is there. It is not a system of inflections like, say, first tone means infinitive and second tone means past tense. They are totally arbitrary. Ji in first tone means "chicken," and ji in third tone means "how many?" Ain't gonna happen. You're on the wrong track with tonality. Besides, even though tones are not phonemic in English, they do express meaning. You use them to indicate happiness, anger, sarcasm, irony, impatience, etc. In Chinese you have to add more words to your sentence to compensate for the lack of oral bandwidth. Frankly I appreciate that since I often misunderstand subtle tones of voice. When my Chinese girlfriend was frustrated with me, she simply had to say so. When my wife is frustrated with me she gives "clues" that I can never figure out, or even get wrong! So to turn English into a tonal language, everyone would have to stop using tone to communicate feelings. What are the odds of that happening?