Priming the Representation of Taiwanese Tone Sandhi Words

Yu-Fu Chien, Joan Sereno, Jie Zhang


Tone sandhi is a tonal alternation phenomenon in which a tone changes to a different tone in certain phonological environments. Taiwanese tone sandhi realizes itself in a circular chain-shift fashion. This study aims to investigate how Taiwanese disyllabic words with sandhi T51 → T55 and sandhi T24 → T33 are represented in the listeners’ mental lexicon, namely, whether Taiwanese listeners are more sensitive to the surface representations or underlying representations of Taiwanese sandhi words in spoken word recognition. An auditory priming lexical decision experiment was conducted to examine priming effects between monosyllabic primes and their corresponding disyllabic targets. Each target was preceded by either a surface-tone prime (e.g., ping55-ping55tsun24; pue33-pue33jong51), an underlying-tone prime (e.g., ping51-ping55tsun24; pue24-pue33jong51), or an unrelated control (e.g., ping21-ping55tsun24; pue21-pue33jong51). Results showed that for sandhi T51 → T55, surface tone primes elicited a stronger facilitation effect than underlying tone primes, with sizeable frequency effects, while for sandhi T24 → T33, underlying tone primes elicited a stronger facilitation effect than surface tone primes. Our data show that the phonological nature of tone sandhi influences how listeners process and represent tone sandhi words.


DOI: 10.21437/TAL.2016-4

Cite as

Chien, Y., Sereno, J., Zhang, J. (2016) Priming the Representation of Taiwanese Tone Sandhi Words. Proc. Tonal Aspects of Languages 2016, 19-22.

Bibtex
@inproceedings{Chien+2016,
author={Yu-Fu Chien and Joan Sereno and Jie Zhang},
title={Priming the Representation of Taiwanese Tone Sandhi Words},
year=2016,
booktitle={Tonal Aspects of Languages 2016},
doi={10.21437/TAL.2016-4},
url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/TAL.2016-4},
pages={19--22}
}