Sonority bias in Rugao di-syllabic syllable contraction

Chenchen Xu, Yen-Hwei Lin, Karthik Durvasula


Two analyses, vowel sonority and the linear order of pre-contraction vowels, have been proposed to account for the vowel selection between two competing vowels in Chinese syllable contraction. An experiment was run to test whether sonority and/or linear order bias the vowel selection in Rugao syllable contraction. Our results confirmed the role of vowel sonority, and did not present supporting evidence for the linear order analysis. Sonority hierarchies along the dimensions of both height and centrality exhibit the same consistent and robust pattern, providing a new perspective to look at competing vowels in vowel-related phonological processes.


vowel sonority; syllable contraction; vowel height; vowel centrality

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Copyright (c) 2018 Chenchen Xu, Yen-Hwei Lin, Karthik Durvasula

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