Tone Sandhi

Matthew Chen’s study offers a most comprehensive analysis of the rich and complex patterns of tone used in Chinese languages. Chinese has a wide repertoire of tones which undergo often surprising changes when they are connected in speech flow. The term tone sandhi refers to this tonal alternation. Chen examines tone sandhi phenomena in detail across a variety of Chinese dialects. He explores a range of important theoretical issues such as the nature of tonal representation, the relation of tone to accent, the prosodic domain of sandhi rules, and the interface between syntax and phonology. His book is the culmination of a ten-year research project and offers a wealth of empirical data not previously accessible to linguists. Extensive references and a bibliography on tone sandhi complete this invaluable resource which will be welcomed as a standard reference on Chinese tone.

• Provides an extremely comprehensive survey on tone sandhi across a range of Chinese dialects • Offers a wealth of empirical data not previously accessible to general linguists • Synthesises facts with theory, bridging the gap between Chinese dialectologists and linguistic theorists


Preface; Notational conventions; 1. Setting the stage; 2. Tonal representation and tonal processes; 3. Directionality and interacting sandhi processes I; 4. Directionality and interacting sandhi processes II; 5. From base tones to sandhi forms: a constraint-based analysis; 6. From tone to accent; 7. Stress-foot as sandhi domain I; 8. Stress-foot as sandhi domain II; 9. Minimal rhythmic unit as obligatory sandhi domain; 10. Phonological phrase as a sandhi domain; 11. From tone to intonation; Concluding remarks; Bibliographical appendix: tone sandhi across Chinese dialects; References; Subject index; Author index.