Department of English Language and Literature
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.
casual speech, elision, tone sandhi, mora, prosody, tianjin
Source Publication Title
International Journal of Chinese Linguistics
John Benjamins Publishing
Wee, L. (2014). Casual speech elision and tone sandhi in Tianjin trisyllabic sequences. International Journal of Chinese Linguistics, 1 (1). https://doi.org/10.1075/ijchl.1.1.03wee