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On the cognitive basis of contact-induced sound change: Vowel merger reversal in Shanghainese

Yao, Y. and Chang, C. B. (2015) 'On the cognitive basis of contact-induced sound change: Vowel merger reversal in Shanghainese.' Language. (In Press)

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Abstract

This study investigated the source and status of a recent sound change in Shanghainese (Wu, Sinitic) that has been attributed to language contact with Mandarin. The change involves two vowels, /e/ and /ɛ/, reported to be merged three decades ago but produced distinctly in contemporary Shanghainese. Results of two production experiments showed that speaker age, language mode (monolingual Shanghainese vs. bilingual Shanghainese-Mandarin), and crosslinguistic phonological similarity all influenced the production of these vowels. These findings provide evidence for language contact as a linguistic means of merger reversal and are consistent with the view that contact phenomena originate from cross-language interaction within the bilingual mind.

Item Type: Articles
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of Linguistics
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PI Oriental languages and literatures
P Language and Literature > PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania
Depositing User: Dr. Charles Chang
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2015 10:50
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/20245

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