Metrical Structure and Tone Sandhi: Evidence from Ei Tonal Reduction

Xiaomei Wang, Yen-Hwei Lin


´╗┐This study examines the interaction of metrical structure and tone sandhi in Ei (an endangered language spoken in Rongshui, Guangxi Province, China), focusing on tonal reduction conditioned by a foot-like prosodic structure. Our analysis shows that within a disyllabic domain, Ei tone sandhi, mainly in the form of tonal reduction, applies only to the first syllable and the second syllable remains unchanged, suggesting a tone sandhi domain that exhibits a weak-strong metrical structure regardless of morpho-syntactic structures. The tonal reduction process leads to a low-register tone of variable and gradient pitch values in the non-head position. This interaction pattern between metrical structure and tone sandhi in Ei differ from other cases of metrically-conditioned tone sandhi in Chinese, such as New Shanghai and Beijing Mandarin, contributing to the typology of prosodically-conditioned tone sandhi. As the first phonological analysis of Ei tone sandhi, this study also enriches our understanding of an understudied and endangered language.


DOI: 10.21437/TAL.2016-15

Cite as

Wang, X., Lin, Y. (2016) Metrical Structure and Tone Sandhi: Evidence from Ei Tonal Reduction. Proc. Tonal Aspects of Languages 2016, 70-74.

Bibtex
@inproceedings{Wang+2016,
author={Xiaomei Wang and Yen-Hwei Lin},
title={Metrical Structure and Tone Sandhi: Evidence from Ei Tonal Reduction},
year=2016,
booktitle={Tonal Aspects of Languages 2016},
doi={10.21437/TAL.2016-15},
url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/TAL.2016-15},
pages={70--74}
}