15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003


Using the Same Methodology to Compare Reduction and Assimilation Phenomena in Spontaneous French and Taiwanese Mandarin

Tzu-ting Su

Laboratoire de Phonétique et Phonologie-CNRS, France

This article presents acoustic and perceptual results on reduction and assimilation (voicing, nasalisation, simplification, fusion) phenomena of 18 minutes of spontaneous French and Taiwanese Mandarin (TM) using the same methodology. We observed: i) consonants in TM are less resistant to assimilation of voicing and nasalisation, and are more likely to be reduced, ii) vowels are less reduced in TM, iii) simplification and fusion are rather consonant phenomena in French but vowel phenomena in TM. We conclude: i) the pattern of reduction and assimilation is very similar in both languages and seems universal, ii) the importance of reduction and assimilation seems language-specific: a) simplification and fusion seem to be linked to the syllable structure of each language, b) resistance of vowels in TM may be due to the fact that TM is a mono-disyllabic tone language in which the vowel is the carrier of tone.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Su, Tzu-ting (2003): "Using the same methodology to compare reduction and assimilation phenomena in spontaneous French and Taiwanese Mandarin", In ICPhS-15, 2713-2716.