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Mechanism of disyllabic tonal reduction in Taiwan Mandarin

Cheng, C; Xu, Y; (2014) Mechanism of disyllabic tonal reduction in Taiwan Mandarin. Language and Speech 10.1177/0023830914543286. Green open access

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Abstract

This study was designed to test the hypothesis that time pressure is a direct cause of tonal reduction in Taiwan Mandarin. Tonal reduction refers to the phenomenon of the tones of a disyllabic unit being contracted into a monosyllabic unit. An experiment was carried out in which six native Taiwan Mandarin male speakers produced sentences containing disyllabic compound words /ma/+/ma/ with varying tonal combinations at different speech rates. Analyses indicated that increasing time pressure led to severe tonal reductions. Articulatory effort, measured by the slope of F0 peak velocity of unidirectional movement over F0 movement amplitude, is insufficient to compensate for duration-dependent undershoot (in particular, when time pressure exceeds certain thresholds). Mechanisms of tonal reduction were further examined by comparing F0 velocity profiles against the Edge-in model, a rule-based phonological model. Results showed that the residual tonal variants in contracted syllables are gradient rather than categorical—as duration is shortened, the movement towards the desired targets is gradually curtailed.

Type: Article
Title: Mechanism of disyllabic tonal reduction in Taiwan Mandarin
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0023830914543286
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0023830914543286
Language: English
Additional information: © 2014 The Authors. This is the authors' accepted version of this published article.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1437684
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