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Title:Non-constrastive features and categorical patterning in Chinese diminutive suffixation—Max[F] or Ident[F]
Authors:Jie Zhang
Comment:To appear in Phonology 17.3 (2000), 427-478.
Abstract:This paper discusses the interaction between the diminutive suffix -r and the stem coda nasal n or ng across Chinese dialects. The most common data pattern is: /CVn+r/-->[CVr], /CVng+r/-->[CV~r]. Two theoretical claims are made in its analysis. First, non-contrastive phonetic differences can induce categorical phonological patterning, as I show experimentally that the vowel in the CVng stem is more nasalized than the vowel in the CVn stem, and argue that it is this difference that leads to the difference in phonological patterning between CVn and CVng upon r-suffixation. Second, MaxFeature constraints are needed in phonological analyses, since for the data in question, they make fewer assumptions on categorization and better prediction in their factorial typology than IdentFeature constraints.
('ng'=velar nasal, 'r'=retroflex approximant, 'V~'=nasalized vowel.)
Type:Paper/tech report
Article:Version 1