ITRW on Experimental Linguistics

Athens, Greece
August 28-30, 2006

Pre-glottal Vowels in Shanghai Chinese

Yiya Chen

Department of Linguistics, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands

This study examines the acoustic realization of two complementary sets of vowels in Shanghai Chinese: One appearing in open syllables only (OSVs) and the other in closed syllables with a glottal coda (PGVs). Two factors - consonant onset and prominence level - were controlled to test the null hypothesis that PGVs are reduced realization of the OSVs due to their short duration. Results showed spectral reduction of the PGVs but suggested that PGVs cannot be the reduced realization of OSVs as both onsetless and prominent PGVs failed to be consistently realized with a more expanded acoustic vowel space, which was predicted by the reduction account. We propose that the spectral reduction of the PGVs is an inherent feature of the vowel’s phonetic implementation.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Chen, Yiya (2006): "Pre-glottal vowels in Shanghai Chinese", In ExLing-2006, 93-96.