8th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Geneva, Switzerland
September 1-4, 2003


Features of Contracted Syllables of Spontaneous Mandarin

Shu-Chuan Tseng

Academia Sinica, Taiwan

Mandarin is a syllable-timed language whose syllable structure is quite simple [1]. In spontaneous Mandarin, because of rapid speech rate the structure of syllable may be changed, phonemes may be reduced and syllable boundaries as well as lexical tones may be merged. This fact has long been noticed, but no quantified empirical data were actually presented in the literature until now. This paper focuses on a special type of syllable reduction in spontaneous Mandarin caused by heavy coarticulation of phonemes across syllable boundaries, namely the phenomenon of syllable contraction. Contracted syllables result from segmental deletions and omission of syllable boundary. This paper reports a series of corpus-based results of analyses on contracted syllables in Mandarin conversation by taking account of phonological as well as non-phonological factors.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Tseng, Shu-Chuan (2003): "Features of contracted syllables of spontaneous Mandarin", In EUROSPEECH-2003, 77-80.