Dissertation > Language, writing > Chinese > Dialect > Northern dialect ( Mandarin dialect) > Northern dialects ( North China Mandarin )

An Analysis of Tones in Handan Dialect

Author WangPing
Tutor WangJiaLing
School Tianjin Normal University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Handan dialect Tonal Tone Sandhi Coarticulation Trisyllabic Phonology Experimental Phonetics Two tone Softly Phonological system
CLC H172.1
Type Master's thesis
Year 2001
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This thesis attempts to give a phonological analysis of tones in Handan dialect based on acoustic data. This thesis is composed of three parts. The first part, Chapter I, begins with an account of the initials and finals of the Handan dialect. This part also reviews the previous studies on the tonal system of Handan. In the second part, I take considerable care in presenting the phonetic details and results obtained from acoustic experiment, which is conducted with the help of Minispeechlab software. The experiment was carried out in three aspects: citation tones, disyllabic tone sandhi and n~utral tone in both disyllabic and trisyllabic sequences. The Handan dialect has an inventory of five citation tones, which are: Ti (41), T2 (52), T3 (44), T4 (323), T5(4 I). T5 is the checked tone, it has the shortest dUration and a stop ending [?]. More importantly, Ti and T2 are much alike in that they are both falling tones and have similar pitch values. However, perception test proves that they are distinguishable to native speakers, and they belong to different tonal categories. As for the tonal behavior of disyllabic sequences, I found the following tone sandhi patterns: (1) T1→2/ {Ti, T3, T5,TO} (2) Ti→3/- {T2, T4} (3) T3→2/ __ T3 (4) T4→2/ __ T4 In disyllabic sequences, the tonal expression of TO (neutral tone) falls in the field of phonetics: the pitch value of its starting point is determined by the end point of the preceding stressed syllable, while the end point of the neutral tone uniformly acquires a default value In trisyllabic sequences, the intermediate TO gets a interpolation value. Its starting point is in agreement with the end point of the preceding syllable, meanwhile its end point co-articulates with the starting point of the following syllable. The last part of this thesis concentrates on explanatory account of the tone sandhi phenomenon of Handan, where a non-derivational model, i.e. Optimality Theory was employed. It proves that the tone sandhi of Handan can be explicitly explained in the framework of OT.

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