Seven-year-olds reach an adult-like productivity in the application of Mandarin tone sandhi

Xunan Huang, Yu Zuo, Caicai Zhang

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

The application of Mandarin Tone 3 (T3) sandhi is highly productive in pseudo-words in Mandarin adult speakers. However, it remains unknown when the pattern becomes productive in Mandarin-speaking children. Children’s acquisition of T3 sandhi has been found to undergo a gradual transformation from a rote-memory lexical mechanism to a computationbased productive mechanism, and their productivity hasn’t reached the adult-like level at age 6. To find out when the children would enter the adult-like level, this study examined the speech productions of 7- and 8-year-old Mandarin-speaking children and adults in real words and two types of pseudo-words. The results showed that 7- and 8-year-old children applied the tone sandhi pattern similarly to adults in both real and pseudo-words. This may indicate the full utilization of a computation-based productive mechanism in the production of Mandarin T3 sandhi in 7-year-olds.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences
EditorsSasha Calhoun, Paola Escudero, Marija Tabian, Paul Warren
PublisherAustralasian Speech Science and Technology Association Inc.
Pages3125-3129
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-646-80069-1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Aug 2019

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