Second International Conference on Spoken Language Processing (ICSLP'92)

Banff, Alberta, Canada
October 13-16, 1992

The Integration of Phonetics and Phonology: A Case Study of Taiwanese "Gemination" and Syllable Structure

Shih-ping Wang

BTC R&D Center, Science-based Industrial Park, Hsinchu, Taiwan, R.O.C.

The aim of this paper is to integrate the phonetic experiments with the phonological theories. I will argue that there is no true gemination in Taiwanese and then explore Taiwanese syllable structure. It is commonly assumed that Taiwanese syllable-final /ptk/ sounds undergo gemination before the diminutive/nominalized suffix /a/, e.g., "/ap-a/ -> [abba]" ([3]). However, the results of our duration experiments reveal that the previous impressionistic view is untenable. Gemination does not in fact occur. Instead, /p,k/ undergo free variation, i.e., vocing or spirantization, while A/ is flapped. As for syllable break, resyllabification and foot-internal structure are separately proposed. To reinforce the above observations, the phenomena of quality (iptkJ), quantity (CIV length) and tone sandhi are provided.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Wang, Shih-ping (1992): "The integration of phonetics and phonology: a case study of taiwanese "gemination" and syllable structure", In ICSLP-1992, 1327-1330.