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Title:The Paradox of Hakka Tone Sandhi
Authors:Matthew Chen, Lian Hee Wee, Xiuhong Yan
Abstract:The Hakka dialect of Changting, China, exhibits extraordinarily intricate tone sandhi phenomena that present a formidable analytical challenge for any theoretical model. The problem is not unlike what one encounters in rudimentary arithmetic. The value of 2 + 3 x 4 depends on whether addition or multiplication comes first:

2 + (3 x 4) = 14

(2 + 3) x 4 = 20

The ultimate outcome is determined by the orderly combination of the elementary operations. Likewise, given a tonal sequence /ABC/, the phonetic form is predictable from the elementary sandhi rules that operate on either AB, then BC, or vice versa. In this paper we offer a fair sample of the empirical facts instantiating this "directionality" effect (to use an orthographic metaphor), and investigate the various logistic moves both Optimality Theory and conventional rule-based derivational model could make to render an account of the attested facts.
Type:Paper/tech report
Article:Version 1