Document Type

Journal Article

Department/Unit

Department of English Language and Literature

Abstract

In the Tianjin dialect, casual utterance of familiar trisyllabic sequences often induces deletion of phonological segments so that for a trisyllabic string, the non-final syllables would merge into a single syllable. This elide-and-merge process interacts with the rich Tianjin tone sandhi system to produce rather complicated patterns. In this paper, casual speech elision is shown to falls out straightforwardly from a model that recognizes morae as associated with segments and also as tone-bearing units. Thus, elision of morae also removes tonal features. While this understanding provides a clear description of the patterns, it also reveals an ordering paradox: sandhi applies before elision in some cases, but after elision in others. The paradox is resolved by favoring the order that produces a contour tone for the merged syllable. An explanation for this can be found if one recognizes that Tianjin is prosodically iambic.

Publication Year

2014

Journal Title

International Journal of Chinese Linguistics

Volume number

1

Issue number

1

Publisher

John Benjamins Publishing

First Page (page number)

71

Last Page (page number)

95

Referreed

1

DOI

10.1075/ijchl.1.1.03wee

ISSN (print)

22138706

Keywords

casual speech, elision, tone sandhi, mora, prosody, tianjin

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