14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999


An Articulatory and Acoustical Analysis of the Syllable-Initial Sibilants and Approximant in Beijing Mandarin

Wai-Sum Lee

Phonetics Lab, Department of Chinese, Translation, and Linguistics, City University of Hong Kong

This paper is an articulatory and acoustical analysis of the syllable-initial sibilants and approximant in Beijing Mandarin. Palatograms and linguagrams were obtained from young adult native speakers of Beijing, male and female, using the direct method. Results show that the initial consonants which are transcribed in earlier studies [1,2,3] as retroflexes [ʂ, tʂ, ɹ] are in fact apical or upperapical postalveolar fricative [ʃ˽], affricate [tʃ˽], and approximant [ɹ˽], respectively. Those as palatal sibilants [ɕ] and [tɕ] are in fact laminal or anterodorsal alveolar-postalveolar or postalveolar fricative [ʃ̻] and affricate [tʃ̻]. The frequency of the spectral energy is the highest for [s, ts], followed by [ʃ̻, tʃ̻] and [ʃ˽, tʃ˽] in decreasing order. The spectrum lengths of the sibilants are longer for the female speakers than the male speakers. The pattern of the F-values for [ɹ˽] for the female speakers differs from the pattern for the male speakers.

References

  1. Chao, Y. R. 1948. Mandarin Primer. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
  2. Chao, Y. R. 1968. A Grammar of Spoken Chinese. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.
  3. Yuan, et al. 1960. Hanyu Fangyan Gaiyao (A Precise of the Chinese Dialects). Beijing: Wenzi Gaige Chubanshe.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Lee, Wai-Sum (1999): "An articulatory and acoustical analysis of the syllable-initial sibilants and approximant in Beijing Mandarin", In ICPhS-14, 413-416.