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Title:An Optimality Account of Tone-Vowel Interaction in Northern Min
Authors:Ping Jiang-King
Comment:243pp., 9 files (see Abstract), Word for Windows 2.0 format. Chinese characters in Simplified GB format
Abstract:An Optimality Account of Tone-Vowel Interaction in Northern Min

Ping Jiang-King

Chinese University of Hong Kong

This dissertation aims at constructing a fully articulated theory of

tone-vowel interaction within the framework of Optimality Theory (OT).

It examines the nature of this phenomenon in Northern Min languages,

as well as various Southeast Asian languages. The questions addressed

are (i) what is the nature of tone-vowel interaction? (ii) how do they

relate to each other? Two important findings emerge from the

investigation. First, tonal types and syllable types are closely

related to each other. That is, different groups of tones occur only

in a certain kind of syllables. These cooccurrence restrictions are

identified as a correlation between tonal contour and syllable weight.

Second, tone does not directly affect vowel distributions and

alternations. Rather, it is the relative syllable positions in which a

vowel occurs and the number of segments present in a syllable that

trigger vowel distributions and alternations. These findings lead to

the conclusion that tone and vowel do not interact directly and that

there is no feature-to-feature correlation between them. Their

interaction lies in the prosodic anchor mediating between them. To

account for the correlation between tonal contour and syllable weight

and the close relationship between syllable structures and vowel

features, I propose a prosodic anchor hypothesis which attributes the

tone-vowel interaction to the mora and its function as an anchor for

both tone and vowel.

The theory proposed in this thesis contains two sets of constraints.

The first set governs linking of tones to moras. The examination of

moras as tone-bearing units shows that moras differ with respect to

how many and what kind of tones they may bear. Thus, Head Binarity

(i.e. a nuclear mora must bear two tones) accounts for the

quantitative distinction between tonal contours and syllable weight

in Fuzhou, whereas the tonal sonority hierarchy (i.e. *+UPPER* >

*-RAISED*) and their harmonic association to the moraic structures

(i.e. the constraint ranking *NUC/[-RSD] >> *NUC/[+UPR]) explain the

phenomenon of a L tone restricted to the non-nuclear mora in Fuqing.

I further show that the interaction of the constraints is capable of

deriving the unmarkedness of tonal systems, as well as the cross-

linguistic variation of tonal distributions.

The second set of constraints regulates the relation between syllable

structures and vowel features. It has been observed that linking of

vowel features to prosodic anchor in tight syllables is more

restrictive than in loose syllables. This asymmetry is expected under

the prosodic anchor hypothesis since the tight syllables are argued to

contain one less mora than the loose ones. I further demonstrate that

the interaction of the basic syllable structure constraints with the

faithfulness constraints can automatically derive the vowel

distribution patterns.

Two kinds of stress effects on tone-vowel interaction are identified.

First, stressed syllables always preserve their lexical specifications

(either tonal or segmental). Second, the vocalic changes in unstressed

syllables (i.e. the non-final syllable of a domain) involve reduction

of syllable weight. These stress effects can be captured by the

constraints Prominence Alignment and Prominence Reduction,

respectively. The former assigns a metrical grid to a rightmost

syllable, hence preserving its lexical properties, while the latter

prohibits a stressed syllable from having two moras. I show that these

constraints, interacting with the constraints on syllabification, can

successfully derive vowel alternating pairs in disyllabic words.

File 1= Appendix

File 2= Chapter 1

File 3= Chapter 2

File 4= Chapter 3

File 5= Chapter 4

File 6= Chapter 5

File 7= Chapter 5b

File 8= Contents

File 9= List of references
Type:Paper/tech report
Article:Version 1