Falsetto tones and Their Evolution in the Southern Hubei

Caiyu Wang


In the southern Hubei of China, the non-modal phonation types, falsetto and breathy, are used for phonological distinctions and the dialects are uni- (modal-only), di- (falsetto and modal) or tri-phonational (falsetto, modal and breathy). This study is conducted mainly according to the distribution of the falsetto tones. In the five investigated towns, di-phonational varieties co-exist with their corresponding uni-phonational varieties. The acoustic and auditory methods are applied to analyze the first-hand sound data to define falsetto tones and the tonal systems. Consecutive changes are found with the perspective of language evolution. The di- and uni- phonational tonal systems are undertaking the reduction of phonation types and tones. The phonologization of the tonal variations into varieties is strongly driven by phonetic and phonological reasons. The change of the phonation types and the relative tonal distance are found to be the causes for tonal changes. This study of the varieties with their affluent variations will benefit the understanding and definition of tones and shed light on the studies of tonal changes and evolution.


 DOI: 10.21437/TAL.2018-41

Cite as: Wang, C. (2018) Falsetto tones and Their Evolution in the Southern Hubei. Proc. TAL2018, Sixth International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Languages, 202-206, DOI: 10.21437/TAL.2018-41.


@inproceedings{Wang2018,
  author={ Caiyu Wang},
  title={ Falsetto tones and Their Evolution in the Southern Hubei},
  year=2018,
  booktitle={Proc. TAL2018, Sixth International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Languages},
  pages={202--206},
  doi={10.21437/TAL.2018-41},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/TAL.2018-41}
}