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Production and perception of the rising tones in Hong Kong Cantonese

Peggy Pik-Ki Mok  Peggy Wai-Yi Wong  
【摘要】:Cantonese has six lexical tones(T),but the two rising tones T2 (high-rising)and T5(low-rising)appear to be merging in Hong Kong Cantonese.Both production and perception experiments were carried out using monosyllables.Results show that the potential mergers generally performed less well than the control group in tone perception,with a lower accuracy rate and longer reaction time,but they could still distinguish the T2/T5 pair with above 90% accuracy.Both groups found the T2/T5 pair more difficult to distinguish than other tone pairs.The production data show that while the potential mergers still have two rising tone categories, examples of both categorical and intermediate tone merge can be observed.There is also much individual difference in tone merge.The results indicate that the merging processing of the two rising tones is still in progress in the language as a whole and in individual speakers.Possible reasons for these patterns are discussed.

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