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Tone and Stress in Taiwanese
Doctoral Committee Chair(s)
Department of Study
Degree Granting Institution
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
This study investigates two prosodic features, tone and stress, in Taiwanese, which is a Southern Min dialect. As far as tone is concerned, in addition to establishing the possible underlying tones of the dialect examined, we present our arguments for the analysis of the three types of tone sandhi in this dialect. We also propose a hierarchical binary tone feature system derived from Clements' (1981) for a phonological characterization of these Taiwanese tones. Moreover, we examine the tone sandhi domain in this dialect and discover that the domain is rate-sensitive. There is a linear relationship between tone sandhi domain and speed of speech. When the speech speed decreases, the tone sandhi domain reduces, and vice versa.
Previous claims of stress in Taiwanese are based on impressive views. In the second part of this study, we conduct several acoustic and perceptual experiments to discern what the possible cues for the presence of stress in Taiwanese are. The results reveal that there were no identifiable acoustic cues that could be used to argue for the linguistic significance of stress in Taiwanese. Our experiments have proven that the previous impressionistic view is incorrect and there is no stress in Taiwanese as far as linguistic significance is concerned. Additionally, in the investigation of the intensity data, we established the vowel-intrinsic amplitude difference in Taiwanese.