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Title:Mandarin tone sandhi and the interface study between phonology and syntax
Author(s):Xu, Debao
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Kisseberth, Charles W.
Department / Program:Linguistics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Language, Linguistics
Language, Modern
Abstract:This dissertation investigates the domain and mode of application of Mandarin third tone sandhi (TS henceforth), in terms of which it is intended to explore the characteristics of the interface between phonology and syntax.
The general result is that TS applies cyclically both in the lexicon and at the phrase level. In the lexicon, it follows the model of lexical phonology. At the phrase level, its domain is partially constrained by the left end of a X$\sp{\rm max-b}$ (branching maximal projection), but finally defined by its unique condition: two by two subgrouping convention and its interaction with other phrasal phonological rules such as sentential stress assignment, secondary stress deletion, last cycle formation, 'marked' stress rules, rate of utterance, and so on.
The significance of the study is that it exemplifies the similarities between phrasal phonology and lexical phonology. On one hand, cyclic application is the characteristic of both phrasal TS and lexical TS. The rule (of TS) applies from right to left cycle by cycle both in the lexicon and at the phrase level. On the other hand, phrasal TS operates in the same mode as lexical TS does. That is, after the application of TS in a cycle, the cycle boundary is deleted and the output of the cycle joins the next cycle as its input to create a new context for next TS (hence exactly the same model proposed by lexical phonology). This implies that the prosodic structure of a sentence is organized in the same way as that lexical structure does: namely, either with the right cycle (s) embedded in the left ones (such as Mandarin TS) on a par with the word composed of prefix + base ((prefix (base))), or with the left cycle (s) embedded in the right ones (such as tone sandhi in Cantonese) on a par with the word formed by base + suffix (((base) suffix)). The discovery of these similarities has significant impact on linguistic theory.
Issue Date:1992
Rights Information:Copyright 1992 Xu, Debao
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9236632
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9236632

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