Working paper Open Access

A Gestural Account of Mandarin Tone Sandhi

Yi, Hao

Recently tones have been analyzed as articulatory gestures, which may be coordinated with segmental gestures (Gao 2008). Using Electromagnetic Articulometry (EMA), this paper investigates the timing of tonal gestures and articulatory gestures in Mandarin tone sandhi under the framework of Articulatory Phonology (AP).

Analyses of the timing patterns show that purported neutralized phonological contrast can nonetheless exhibit coordinative differences in Mandarin tone sandhi. Furthermore, it is likely that a bias towards the underlying tone (lexical Tone3) is responsible for the incomplete neutralization between Tone2 and the output of third tone sandhi (henceforth T3S) .

The rest of the paper is organized as follows: Section 2 offers background on Mandarin tone sandhi and the motivation for the current study; Section 3 lays out the theoretical framework, i.e. AP and two major AP-based accounts that inspired this paper; Section 4 formulates the hypotheses; Section 5 covers the methodology, including the experiment design and statistical methods; Section 6 presents the results, and Section 7 provides closing discussion and some final thoughts.

This working paper is copyrighted, and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) - see
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