Speech Prosody 2004

Nara, Japan
March 23-26, 2004

The Prosody of the Compound Words in Standard Chinese

Eric Zee

Phonetics Lab, Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics, City University of Hong Kong

The bisyllabic, trisyllabic, and quadrisyllabic compounds in Standard Chinese (the Beijing variety) were analyzed for their prosodic characteristics, including temporal structure, F0 contours, and intensity curves. Results show that (1) the durations of the syllable-initial fricatives [f s S C x], the voice onset time of the aspirated stops [ph th kh] and aspirated affricates [tsh tSh tCh] of the component syllables, and the durations of the rimes of the component syllables all vary according to the position of the syllables in the compounds; (2) the unaspirated stops and affricates as well as the closure durations are not affected by the positions of the component syllables of the compounds; (3) the F0 contours are subject to the F0 declination effect, and the same citation tones on the component syllables of a compound are downstepped; (4) the shapes of the citation tones [35 214] often change, not however [55] and [51]; and (5) with a few exceptional cases, the intensity curves for the rimes co-vary with the F0 contours.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Zee, Eric (2004): "The prosody of the compound words in standard Chinese", In SP-2004, 135-138.