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Title: Individual change going against tone merging progress in Hong Kong Cantonese : longitudinal evidence from connected-speech recordings
Authors: Chen, Ziqi
Advisors: Yao, Y 
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Abstract: The current work investigates an individual’s linguistic behavior under the influence of tone merging progress in Hong Kong Cantonese community over time. Past apparent time studies have documented that HKC has been undergoing tone merging process (Mok, Zuo, & Wong, 2013). In their studies, synchronic variations were used to represent diachronic changes, assuming that individual’s linguistic behavior remains in stasis after puberty. The validity of the hypothesis has been challenged by real time studies (Harrington, Palethorpe, & Watson, 2000), in which individuals changed their accent in adulthood. It calls for more real time evidence to testify the generality of apparent time evidence. Hence, the study collects longitudinal evidence from the recordings of connected speech delivered by the public figure Leung Chun-ying, in which fundamental frequency values are measured acoustically. The findings suggest that the distinctiveness of six tone categories has increased over time, with expanded pitch range. The study concludes that the individual change in tonal production has been stabilized to a more conservative manner, going against communal merging trends. The study reveals the complexity and variability in individual change, calling for more longitudinal evidence at individual level to address the ambiguity of language change at individual and community levels.
Rights: All rights reserved.
Programme: Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Chinese & Bilingual Studies
Subject Code: CBS4701
Subject Title: Project in Language Studies
Appears in Collections:Outstanding Work by Students

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