Frication as a Vowel Feature? — Evidence from the Rui’an Wu Chinese Dialect

Fang Hu, Youjue He


Frication is not a common feature in characterizing vowels. However, Chinese dialects are known for having apical vowels. Additionally, there are fricative high vowels in a few dialects. This paper describes the phonetics and phonology of the vowels in the Rui’an Wu Chinese dialect, with an emphasis on vowel features distinguishing the high vowels. Rui’an has 12 monophthongs [i y ʉ e ø ε a ɿ ɔ o u ɯ]; and half of them [i y ʉ ɿ u ɯ] are high vowels. Formant data from 10 native speakers, 5 male and 5 female, were analyzed. And acoustic results reveal that [ɿ] is an apical vowel with significantly higher frication than other high vowels, whereas the difference in frication between [ʉ ɯ] and [y u] respectively is not confirmed. Rather, spectral difference plays a more important role in the distinction between labiodental high vowels [ʉ ɯ] and their plain rounded counterparts [y u].


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2019-1134

Cite as: Hu, F., He, Y. (2019) Frication as a Vowel Feature? — Evidence from the Rui’an Wu Chinese Dialect. Proc. Interspeech 2019, 3955-3959, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2019-1134.


@inproceedings{Hu2019,
  author={Fang Hu and Youjue He},
  title={{Frication as a Vowel Feature? — Evidence from the Rui’an Wu Chinese Dialect}},
  year=2019,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2019},
  pages={3955--3959},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2019-1134},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2019-1134}
}