Are there boundary tones in Mandarin Chinese echo questions?

Edward Flemming, Helen Nie


Mandarin Chinese echo questions are distinguished from declaratives by intonation alone, but it is not obvious that the intonational distinction can be characterized in terms of the familiar elements of intonation, i.e. pitch accents and boundary tones, because the F0 trajectory at the end of a question is determined primarily by the lexical tone of the final syllable. Echo questions are marked by an optional increase in overall pitch range and modifications to the final tone that have been characterized as a further expansion of pitch range. We explore an account according to which these modifications to the final tone are due to the presence of a high boundary tone, but its realization differs from familiar boundary tones because it is realized simultaneously with the final lexical tone. The conflict between the simultaneous demands of lexical tone and boundary tone are resolved by compromise between their conflicting targets.


Cite as

Flemming, E., Nie, H. (2016) Are there boundary tones in Mandarin Chinese echo questions?. Proc. Speech Prosody 2016, (abstract).

Bibtex
@inproceedings{Flemming+2016,
author={Edward Flemming and Helen Nie},
title={Are there boundary tones in Mandarin Chinese echo questions?},
year=2016,
booktitle={Speech Prosody 2016}
}