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Yangping Tone in Zhangzhou: Beyond the Convention
Yishan Huang
Pages - 36 - 47     |    Revised - 31-10-2023     |    Published - 31-12-2023
Volume - 14   Issue - 3    |    Publication Date - December 2023  Table of Contents
Yangping Tone, Acoustics, Citation, Phrase-initial, Phrase-final, Zhangzhou.
This study examines the encoding of Yangping tone in three different linguistic contexts in Zhangzhou Southern Min, a Sinitic dialect spoken in south Fujian province of mainland China. The scientifically-acoustically normalized F0 result, based on21 native speakers’ utterances, falsifies those auditory-based prior studies that document this tone with competing transcriptions. Its F0 contour is changed to be categorically different from corresponding citation form at the nonright- most position, demonstrating the right-dominance of tone sandhi system in this dialect. In the meanwhile, the F0 contour at the right-most position is not exactly the same as its citation value. Instead, it presents variation resulting from its phonetic sensitivity to occurring environments, reflecting the carry-over effect of tonal co-articulation, and the position-final declining effect, while questioning the conventional default-principle on the specification of sandhi dominancy in Sinitic languages. This exploration addresses existing inconsistency and inadequacy in prior studies, while substantially advances our knowledge of tonal phonetics and phonology in this dialect. It also contributes vital linguistic data to the typology of tone and tone sandhi as an important language phenomenon in Asian languages, while enlightening the discussion on how human beings model different variants in their mental grammar, while decode the complexity in their language practice.
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Dr. Yishan Huang
Linguistics Department The University of Sydney City, 2050 - Australia

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