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Publication . Article . 2019

Geographical variation of the merging between dental and retroflex sibilants in Taiwan Mandarin

Chuang, Yu-Ying; Ching-Chu Sun; Fon, Janice; Baayen, Rolf Harald;
Open Access

This study investigates the geographical distribution of pronunciation variation of voiceless dental and retroflex sibilants in Taiwan Mandarin. Previous studies indicated that the merging of the two sibi- lants is geographically dependent [17, 6]. How- ever, the geographical effects in these studies are not easy to interpret due to the limited number of speakers and regions. For the current study, we recruited 331 native speakers of Taiwan Mandarin from 120 regions in Taiwan. In a picture-naming task, 30 dental/retroflex-initial words were elicited from each speaker. The data were analysed with Generalized Additive Mixed models [26]. The anal- ysis revealed a robust effect of geographical loca- tion, with merging being less common in metropoli- tan cities as compared to the surrounding areas.


Geographic variation, merging, dental sibilant, retroflex sibilant, Taiwan Mandarin

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Funded by
Wide Incremental learning with Discrimination nEtworks
  • Funder: European Commission (EC)
  • Project Code: 742545
  • Funding stream: H2020 | ERC | ERC-ADG
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