The Phonology and Phonetics of Kaifeng Mandarin Vowels

Lei Wang


In this present study, we re-analyze the vowel system in Kaifeng Mandarin, adopting a phoneme-based approach. Our analysis deviates from the previous syllable-based analyses in a number of ways. First, we treat apical vowels [ɿ ʅ] as syllabic approximants and analyze them as allophones of the retroflex approximant /ɻ/. Second, the vowel inventory is of three sets, monophthongs, diphthongs and retroflex vowels. The classification of monophthongs and diphthongs is based on the phonological distribution of the coda nasal. That is, monophthongs can be followed by a nasal coda, while diphthongs cannot. This argument has introduced two new opening diphthongs /eε ɤʌ/ in the inventory, which have traditionally been described as monophthongs. Our phonological characterization of the vowels in Kaifeng Mandarin is further backed up by acoustic data. It is argued that the present study has gone some way towards enhancing our understanding of Mandarin segmental phonology in general.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2020-2375

Cite as: Wang, L. (2020) The Phonology and Phonetics of Kaifeng Mandarin Vowels. Proc. Interspeech 2020, 651-655, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2020-2375.


@inproceedings{Wang2020,
  author={Lei Wang},
  title={{The Phonology and Phonetics of Kaifeng Mandarin Vowels}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2020},
  pages={651--655},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2020-2375},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2020-2375}
}