Sonority bias in Rugao di-syllabic syllable contraction


  • Chenchen Xu Michigan State University
  • Yen-Hwei Lin Michigan State University
  • Karthik Durvasula Michigan State University



vowel sonority, syllable contraction, vowel height, vowel centrality


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.

Author Biographies

  • Yen-Hwei Lin, Michigan State University
    ProfessorDepartment of Linguistics and Languages 
  • Karthik Durvasula, Michigan State University
    Assistant ProfessorDepartment of Linguistics and Languages 




How to Cite

Xu, Chenchen, Yen-Hwei Lin, and Karthik Durvasula. 2018. “Sonority Bias in Rugao Di-Syllabic Syllable Contraction”. Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America 3 (1): 28:1–13.