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LINGUIST List 23.4955

Tue Nov 27 2012

Books: Tone Sandhi, Prosodic Phrasing, and Focus Marking in Wenzhou Chinese: Scholz

Editor for this issue: Danniella Hornby <daniellalinguistlist.org>

Date: 20-Nov-2012
From: Mariƫtte Bonenkamp <lotuu.nl>
Subject: Tone Sandhi, Prosodic Phrasing, and Focus Marking in Wenzhou Chinese: Scholz
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Title: Tone Sandhi, Prosodic Phrasing, and Focus Marking in Wenzhou
Series Title: LOT dissertation series

Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke - LOT

Author: Franziska Scholz

Paperback: ISBN: 9789460930898 Pages: Price: Europe EURO


In most languages, focus (i.e. highlighting information) is marked by
modifying the melody of the sentence. But how is focus marked in a Chinese
dialect with eight different citation tones and a complex tonal phonology?
This thesis investigates the connection between tonal realization and tone
change (tone sandhi) in Wenzhou Chinese, and whether and how such a connection
is conditioned by prosodic structure and focus marking. Experiments were
conducted with young speakers of Wenzhou Chinese, whose speech was
acoustically analyzed so as to investigate the application domain of tone
sandhi and the influence of focus thereon, the tonal realization on the word
and phrase level and its interaction with focus, the pre-planning of
sentential pitch, as well as the realization of referents with different
information statuses. The experimental findings suggest that the application,
but not the implementation, of tone sandhi is independent of focus, and that
focus and prosodic structure have similar but independent effects on the
realization of lexical tones. It is also shown that pitch scaling is sensitive
to syntactic structure and complexity, and that the marking of givenness,
broad focus, and narrow focus leads to discrete levels along the same acoustic
parameters. These findings are of interest to researchers working on lexical
tone, prosodic structure, and how information structure categories such as
focus affect tonal realization and prosodic phrasing.

Linguistic Field(s): Language Documentation
Language Structure

Subject Language(s): Chinese, Wu (wuu)

Written In: English (eng)

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