A comparative study of Tone 4 sandhi in Standard Mandarin and Luoyang Dialect

Chen, Huilin (2018) A comparative study of Tone 4 sandhi in Standard Mandarin and Luoyang Dialect. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This thesis provides a comparison of tone sandhi patterns in Standard Mandarin and Luoyang Dialect, focusing on Tone 4 sandhi. Standard Mandarin is an official language promoted in China in the 1930s, which is based on the Beijing Dialect by adopting its syntactic, lexical and phonological systems, and taking some vocabulary from other Northern dialects. Luoyang Dialect is a dialect spoken in Luoyang and its adjacent areas. Both the Beijing Dialect and the Luoyang Dialect belong to the Northern Dialect Group. There are four tones both in Standard Mandarin and Luoyang Dialect, and each tone is oneto- one correlated, which indicates that a word marked as Tone 1 in one dialect will also be Tone 1 in another. Tone 4 in both dialects follows a high falling tendency. As an official language, Standard Mandarin has been extensively studied by linguists. It has been documented that bu (‘no, not’), as a Tone 4 word in Standard Mandarin, will dissimilate when it’s followed by other Tone 4 words. This thesis will re-examine this sandhi rule, and collect acoustic data to investigate whether bu- sandhi exists in Luoyang Dialect and whether other Tone 4 words also go through tone dissimilation as well. In order to conduct this research, data was collected from four speakers, including two Standard Mandarin speakers and two Luoyang Dialect speakers. Praat was used to collect the data and extract pitch lists. In addition, an algorithm proposed by Shi (Shi & Wang, 2006) was used to convert pitch data to Chao digits, allowing the tone value of each word to be further compared. My data confirms the existence of bu- sandhi in Standard Mandarin, and the observation that bu is the only Tone 4 word in Standard Mandarin that goes through tone dissimilation. In comparison with Standard Mandarin, my data shows that bu not only dissimilates in front of Tone 4 words in Luoyang Dialect, but also will be neutralized from a high falling tone into a level tone elsewhere. Additionally, different from Standard Mandarin, other Tone 4 words in Luoyang Dialect will also dissimilate in front of Tone 4 words. This thesis contributes to the phonological study of the Luoyang Dialect, and may have implications for studies of the diachronic evolution of Luoyang Dialect, as well as the historical relationship between Beijing Dialect and Luoyang Dialect. This study is the first to carry out a comparison between Standard Mandarin and Luoyang Dialect from the perspective of tone 4 sandhi. Not only will a tone 4 sandhi rule in Luoyang Dialect be proposed and added to the body of research on Chinese tone sandhi, but the relationship of tone sandhi with stress, duration and the OCP will also be discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/13168
Item ID: 13168
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 57-60).
Keywords: tone sandhi; Standard Mandarin; Luoyang Dialect; OCP
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Linguistics
Date: May 2018
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Mandarin dialects -- Phonology, Comparative; Mandarin dialects -- Morphophonemics

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