Lexical Propensity and Taiwanese Min Tone sandhi Rules

Hohsien Pan, Hsiaotung Huang


Taiwanese Min tone sandhi rules have a chain shift cyclic nature, 55, 13-> 33->31->51->55 and 5->3->5. Sandhi tones surface at the non-final syllables of tone sandhi groups, whereas base tones surface at the final syllables. Canonical base tone is identical to the underlying phonemic tone. Pan (2019) investigated the sandhi and base tone alternations with spontaneous speech corpus, TaiMin (www.taimin.tw), and found that the base tones increased from low-level weak syllable and word boundaries to high-level strong intermediate phrase (ip) and intonation phrase (IP) boundaries. These findings are in line with the domain-final strengthening theory which claimed that the canonical forms tend to be produced around strong prosodic boundaries. However, results of data-driven decision tree models and random forest models revealed that 81% of /i 55/ “he/she” and /in55/ “they/them” were produced with sandhi form, regardless of prosodic positions. Even in word-final position, there were 4678 base tones from words that were produced with over 95% base tones. Taiwanese Min tone sandhi rules were not as productive as phonological or morpho-syntactic studies suggested. Prosodic boundary and lexical propensity must be taken into account to explain the sandhi and base tone alternations.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-106

Cite as: Pan, H., Huang, H. (2020) Lexical Propensity and Taiwanese Min Tone sandhi Rules. Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020, 518-522, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-106.


@inproceedings{Pan2020,
  author={Hohsien Pan and Hsiaotung Huang},
  title={{Lexical Propensity and Taiwanese Min Tone sandhi Rules}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020},
  pages={518--522},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-106},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-106}
}