Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
PIRA download icon_1.1View/Download Full Text
Title: Phonetic accommodation of tone : reversing a tone merger-in-progress via imitation
Authors: Lin, Y 
Yao, Y 
Luo, J:;rp06424 
Issue Date: Jul-2021
Source: Journal of phonetics, July 2021, v. 87, 101060
Abstract: Previous literature has documented phonetic accommodation for various segmental and suprasegmental features, but the accommodation of tone remains under-explored. The current study contributes to the literature by investigating the accommodation of two merging tones in Hong Kong Cantonese, mid-level Tone 3 (T3) and low-level Tone 6 (T6), in a speech shadowing experiment. Specifically, we ask whether shadowers will reverse the merging trend after exposure to a model talker with distinct T3–T6 productions and if so, what factors will modulate the accommodative behaviors. Evidence for phonetic imitation is observed, but the effect varies by shadower's baseline production of T3–T6 distinction and across different model talkers. Shadowers with less baseline tonal distinction exhibit greater degrees of imitation, suggesting that greater linguistic distance facilitates imitation. More robust imitation is observed in the young model talker condition, but the effect is most likely driven by the talker's idiosyncratic production. Shadowers’ impression of the model talker and attitudes towards ongoing changes in the language did not show substantial impact on imitation. We discuss the implications of these findings for theories of speech perception and production.
Keywords: Cantonese tone
Merger reversal
Phonetic imitation
Sound change
Publisher: Academic Press
Journal: Journal of phonetics 
ISSN: 0095-4470
EISSN: 1095-8576
DOI: 10.1016/j.wocn.2021.101060
Rights: © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license(
The following publication Lin, Y., Yao, Y., & Luo, J. (2021). Phonetic accommodation of tone: Reversing a tone merger-in-progress via imitation. Journal of Phonetics, 87, 101060 is available at
Appears in Collections:Journal/Magazine Article

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
1-s2.0-S0095447021000322-main.pdf1.4 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
Open Access Information
Status open access
File Version Version of Record
View full-text via PolyU eLinks SFX Query
Show full item record

Page views

Last Week
Last month
Citations as of Jun 4, 2023


Citations as of Jun 4, 2023


Citations as of Jun 8, 2023


Citations as of Jun 8, 2023

Google ScholarTM



Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.