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Title: A Descriptive Study of Tones and Tone Sandhi in the Rui'an Dialect
Authors: Tang, Diana
Advisors: Lionnet, Florian
Department: Independent Concentration
Class Year: 2021
Abstract: This thesis describes tone sandhi in the Rui'an dialect, a Chinese Wu dialect of the Oujiang subgroup. Wu dialects are known for their complex tone sandhi rules, and while sandhi in dialects spoken in larger cities such as Shanghai and Wenzhou have been widely studied, tone sandhi in the dialect spoken in the coastal city of Rui'an has yet to be described and analyzed. Working with four native speakers of the Rui'an dialect, I confirm existing literature on tonal analysis of isolation tones and proceed to study tone sandhi rules, focusing on disyllabic lexical compounds and phrases. A description of tones in lexical compounds, verb-object phrases, and combinations with the particle [gi] reveal different tone sandhi and tone reduction processes at play for each of these grammatical configurations. While the consideration of right dominance, autosegmental analysis, constraints on tones, and salience provides a reliable model to approach the Rui’an dialect, none of these can fully account for the patterns resulting from lexical disyllabic tone sandhi, suggesting the need for a diachronic approach to further account for the behavior of tones. A preliminary description of trisyllabic lexical tone sandhi also highlights the role of variation in speaker realizations of tone sandhi forms.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Independent Concentration, 1972-2021

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