A Comparative Study on Haplology of Putonghua and Taiwan Mandarin and Its Standardisation

Sicong Dong, Chu-ren Huang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Haplology in Chinese nominal compounds is yielded by a set of constraints, which may function diversely across varieties or dialects. Based on empirical studies, Mandarin varieties of Mainland China and Taiwan are found to be essentially the same in terms of acceptability of haplology, but differ in the overall tendency of haplology, with Taiwan Mandarin being slightly inclined to use non-haplology forms while Putonghua showing no significant preference. The two varieties also display difference in the strength rankings of three constraints. It is ‘frequency > syllabicity > tone sandhi’ in Putonghua, and ‘frequency > tone sandhi > syllabicity’ in Taiwan Mandarin. Such rankings can be well explained with markedness constraints in Optimality Theory and also the theory of lexical diffusion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-24
Journal汉语学报 (Chinese linguistics)
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

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