Tone Sandhi Domain is not a Foot in Standard Mandarin: Evidence from the Perceptual Side

Naiyan Du


There is a long debate on whether or not the tone sandhi domain in Standard Mandarin should be treated as a metrical foot. According to the hypothesis that the tone sandhi domain is the metrical foot (Duanmu, 2007), a tone sandhi pattern can be used to infer the position of stress. However, this study shows that, despite changing the domain over which tone sandhi occurs, stress pattern remains unchanged perceptually for native speakers of Standard Mandarin. This finding conforms to the results of previous production experiments that show that the stress position remains consistent for utterances with different morpho-syntactic structures (Jia, 2011; Lai et al., 2010). Therefore, the tone sandhi domain is non-isomorphic with the stress domain in Standard Mandarin.


Standard Mandarin; Tone Sandhi; Prosody

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