Speech Prosody 2002

Aix-en-Provence, France
April 11-13, 2002

Prosodic Erosion as a Diagnostic of Grammaticalisation in Isolating Languages: Tone and Stress in Sinitic

Lisa Lim, Umberto Ansaldo

Department of English Language & Literature, National University of Singapore

This paper is concerned with the aspect of prosodic reduction typically observed in grammaticalised items within languages of the isolating, tonal type. In particular, it focuses on the prosodic features of grammaticalised morphemes in Mandarin, Cantonese and Hokkien (Min), and introduces three types of common prosodic erosion found in these languages, namely (a) reduction to neutral tone or tonal loss, (b) weakened stress, and (c) contraction involving tonal reduction.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Lim, Lisa / Ansaldo, Umberto (2002): "Prosodic erosion as a diagnostic of grammaticalisation in isolating languages: tone and stress in Sinitic", In SP-2002, 459-462.