Grandfather effects in Laoling disyllabic tone sandhi

Yi Jen Chen, Yuchau E. Hsiao


In Optimality Theory, grandfather effects refer to the phenomena in which a structure that already exist in the input is allowed to surface while the same structure that is derived (i.e. not in the input) is forbidden. Most studies on this issue focus on segmental processes, and only few on tonal processes. This study presents the data of Laoling regular disyllabic tone sandhi, which demonstrates a grandfathering effect where some tones are allowed in non-derived contexts but banned in derived contexts. We propose a constraint-based analysis adopting Comparative Markedness (McCarthy 2003) constraints.


tone sandhi; grandfather effects; comparative markedness

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