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phonetics and phonology 2


Update lectures on Phonetics and Phonology

Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages The Chinese University of Hong Kong presents a talk by Dr. Jane Setter University of Reading On “Prosody in Hong Kong English: aspects of speech rhythm and intonation” (in English)

Date: Time: Venue:

August 2, 2010 (Monday) 4:30 pm - 6:15 pm Lecture Theatre 1 Swire Hall Fung King Hey Building The Chinese University of Hong Kong

ABSTRACT This paper reports research on prosodic features of speech in Hong Kong English (HKE), looking at speech rhythm, and some aspects of intonation. Setter (2006) adopted a pedagogically oriented, hierarchical methodology to examine HKE speech rhythm, in which weak, unstressed, stressed and nuclear syllables in a semi-scripted speech task were compared with an existing corpus of British English speech data. The proportion of each of the four syllable types was also compared. It was found that rhythmic patterns in HKE differ significantly in comparison to British English, and that there were more unstressed syllables than weak syllables in the HKE data. It was hypothesised that these differences in prosodic pattering may lead to reduced intelligibility in international communication in some settings. In the current paper, the material from Setter (2006) is re-examined using the Pairwise Variability Index (PVI) (Low, Grabe & Nolan 2000), a measure which compares successive unit durations, in this case applied at the level of the syllable (sPVI). Results show that a similar conclusion is reached using the sPVI. In addition, new HKE data is presented to which the PVI is applied at the level of the syllable peak (i.e. the vowel), and compared to findings from an existing study on British and Singapore English. It is found that the HKE data is more similar to the Singapore English data than the British English data, thus further reinforcing the 2006 study and the re-examination of that data. However, a great individual speaker variation is also observed in the new HKE data. Concerning intonation, this paper examines some features of tonicity and tone in HKE speech data, collected using an information gap task, in which the interlocutors are HKE speakers and a non-native speaker of English. The results are presented in terms of patterns emerging in HKE as a World English.
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Department of English Seminar Hong Kong English: An emergent new variety? Dr Jane Setter Department of Applied Linguistics, University of Reading, UK Dr Cathy Wong Department of English, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Date: 30 July 2010, Friday Time: 5:00 - 6:30 pm Venue: AG710, 7/F Core A, PolyU campus Abstract Hong Kong English is often thought of as a learner interlanguage. In this talk, given in association with Edinburgh University Press, we examine some of the features of Hong Kong English and demonstrate that there is an increasing body of evidence to show that it is emerging as a New Variety of English with its own identifiable features. We examine the history and development of the variety and consider its possible trajectory along the road towards standardisation, examining in particular phonological and lexico-grammatical aspects, many of which are stable across users. About the speakers Jane Setter is Senior Lecturer in Phonetics and Head of the Department of Applied Linguistics, University of Reading, UK. Her PhD work was on speech rhythm in Hong Kong English. Her main research interests are the phonology of Hong Kong English and other world Englishes, and speech prosody in atypical populations. She has worked in Hong Kong and Japan as well as the UK. Jane is co-author of the forthcoming book “Hong Kong English” (Edinburgh University Press 2010), and co-editor of Daniel Jones’s English Pronouncing Dictionary (17th edition, Cambridge University Press 2007). Cathy SP Wong is Assistant Professor of the Department of English of the Hong Kong Polytechnic Unviersity, HK. She received her PhD in Linguistics from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Her research areas are Second Language Acquisition and English Loanwords. She is co-author of the book “Hong Kong English” (Edinburgh University Press 2010).

Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages The Chinese University of Hong Kong Prof. Francis Nolan studied languages and linguistics in Cambridge, and started his career as a lecturer in phonetics in a one-year post in the University of Wales in Bangor. He returned to Cambridge to complete his PhD, and was appointed to an assistant lectureship there. His doctoral research was on the phonetic bases of speaker recognition, a topic which after several years led to him being drawn into forensic phonetic casework, and, in turn, into further research on speaker identity. Most recently he has headed two projects in the area, one (‘DyViS’)
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examining differences among speakers matched for accent, and the other (‘VoiceSim’) on perceived voice similarity and the effect of the telephone. Forensic applications of phonetics, then, have been an important theme in his career. He is now Professor of Phonetics in the University of Cambridge, teaches most aspects of phonetics, and has supervised around 20 PhD dissertations on a wide range of topics. He is currently president of the British Association of Academic Phoneticians and a council member of the International Phonetic Association, and he is a founder member of the International Association for Forensic Phonetics and Acoustics. Lecture One Title: Introduction to forensic phonetics Date: 17 May 2010 (Mon) Time: 2:30pm - 4:15pm Venue: Lecture Theatre 1, Teaching Complex at Western Campus, CUHK Abstract Forensic phonetics is the application of phonetics, the study of speech, in the legal process – whether criminal or civil, and whether in investigations or court cases. Although the best known application is what is often referred to as speaker identification, there are several others, including deciphering what was said in a recording, determining whether a recording has been tampered with, and even giving opinions on trademark disputes. The first lecture will give an overview of the ways in which phoneticians can contribute, with examples, and then it will outline the particular skills and techniques which phoneticians can apply to various tasks. Lecture Two Title: Deconstructing speaker identity Date: 20 May 2010 (Thu) Time: 2:30pm - 4:15pm Venue: Lecture Theatre 1, Teaching Complex at Western Campus, CUHK Abstract In order to assist in cases which involve the identity of a speaker it is essential for the phonetician to have a clear understanding of how information about the individual is imprinted on the acoustic signal. A major problem is that, at the same time, a complex linguistic ‘message’ is also being mapped onto the acoustic signal. A model for the information in the signal will be presented, and this will allow us to understand the ways in which the individual is reflected in speech. Crucially there is a high degree of flexibility in the mechanisms shaping the speech signal, and so we will see that there can be no expectation of invariant ‘markers’ of the individual. Rather, we need to rely on the intersection of many different dimensions of variation along which a person can move. Lecture Three Title: Technical speaker comparison Date: 24 May 2010 (Mon) Time: 2:30pm - 4:15pm

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Venue: Lecture Theatre 1, Teaching Complex at Western Campus, CUHK Abstract When recordings are available from a perpetrator and a suspect it is possible for the techniques at the phonetician’s disposal, including auditory and acoustic analysis, to be applied to the question of whether the same speaker is heard on both. Because voice samples are not like fingerprints, phonetic experts tend now to prefer ‘speaker comparison’ to ‘speaker identification’; and indeed a crucial issue is how to frame the results of an analysis to convey as clearly as possible what can, and what can’t, be determined about identity from the samples in question. This lecture will stress the need for the outcome of analyses, whether by ear or by computer, to be carefully interpreted with respect to models of structure – including the phonology of the language, patterns of sociolinguistic variation, and the relationships between vocal tracts and the resultant acoustic parameters. Lecture Four Title: Earwitnesses Date: 26 May 2009 (Wed) Time: 2:30pm - 4:15pm Venue: Lecture Theatre 1, Teaching Complex at Western Campus, CUHK Abstract It might seem that a witness’s evidence about a voice is purely a matter for the ‘earwitness’. In fact, phoneticians can assist in more ways than one. They can report and construe the information which is available on what factors make voice memory more reliable or less so. They can help to reconcile conflicting reports from several witnesses on the characteristics (e.g. accent) of a voice heard. Most interestingly, they can help to collect evidence by assisting with a voice parade (or voice line-up). If it is to be fair, a voice parade should be such that if the witness resorts to guessing, all voices in the parade (the suspect’s and those of around eight ‘foils’) should stand an equal chance of being picked. Given the multidimensional nature of speech samples, this is hard to achieve, and well-nigh impossible without expert knowledge of the complexity of speech. This lecture will range over types of cases where phoneticians have been involved, and present recent research on voice similarity and voice parades. Public Lecture Title: Forensic speaker comparison in the UK: a history Date: 27 May 2010 (Thu) Time: 4:30pm - 6:15pm Venue: Lecture Theatre 1, Teaching Complex at Western Campus, CUHK Abstract Phonetics is the scientific study of speech. Since a small, but substantial, minority of legal cases involve the issue of who a voice recorded or heard belongs to, it is natural that from time to time phoneticians have been called upon for their expertise. This talk will trace the history of forensic speaker identification (or ‘comparison’ as it is now often known) in the UK, from the occasional

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appearance of individual dialectologists in court giving evidence based largely on accents, to the current consensus, among a fairly well-established body of practitioners and researchers, on a more broadly-based set of analyses including acoustic measurements. In order to place this historical development in perspective, the talk will examine some of the controversies which have been debated over the years. These include the status of ‘voiceprinting’, i.e. impressionistic pattern-matching of spectrograms to identify speakers; the question of whether acoustic measurements and auditory phonetic judgments access the same or complementary information about the speaker; the appropriate form of conclusions in speaker identification cases so as to help the court to appreciate the nature of the evidence; and the future role of automatic methods in forensic phonetics. A sub-theme will be autobiographical: some details will be revealed of how the speaker became interested in speaker recognition as a research topic, and how he was subsequently drawn into casework. RESEARCH SEMINAR Date: 13th May, 2010 (Thurs.) Time: 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Venue: Room 136, Main Building, The University of Hong Kong

PROSODIC PARAMETERS IN MULTILINGUAL ACQUISITION OF ENGLISH Ms. Vessela Dmitrova The University of Hong Kong Abstract Research into prosodic development of multilingual children has recently received particular attention despite the methodological challenges, processing and representational constraints, and the difficulty of capturing suprasegmental features and accurately mapping them to linguistic facts and distinctive meaning. In this talk, I will present some of the preliminary findings of my research into the acquisition of prosodic phrasing, stress and intonation in two multilingual children learning English as their first language in a family of non-native speakers. The children’s data is compared with data from a controlled group of monolinguals (one adult and two children) and Cantonese speakers of English (one child and one teenager). The study combines Praat phonetic analysis of the subjects’ output with linguistic intonation patterns. Results indicate that while the two multilingual children were successful in using pause and final-syllable duration to signal prosodic phrasing, they displayed greater variation in their tone patterns as compared to monolingual children and adults. It also seems the patterns that they use are not incorrect per se and the variation displayed reflects the fact that there exists more than one legitimate pattern for a given syntactic structure. This makes it very challenging for children to master native-speaker prosody of English.

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Although there is some very subtle evidence for Cantonese and Putonghua influence on the multilingual children’s speech such as strengthening of lexically unstressed final vowels and tone on minor stress, their English displays well differentiated phonology and intonation with a dynamic range of pitch variations and emphasis. This prosodic complexity that may also involve knowledge of multiple registers stands out in comparison with Cantonese speakers of English. Vessela Dmitrova is a PhD candidate in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include language acquisition, multilingualism and prosodic development.

The University of Hong Kong School of Humanities Department of Linguistics

RESEARCH SEMINAR LANGUAGE AS AN 'INTERFACE' - EVIDENCE FROM TONE PERCEPTION AND ITS LATERALIZATION Date: 27th April, 2010 Time: 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Venue: Room 136, Main Building, The University of Hong Kong Dr. SHUAI Lan Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences Faculty of Education The University of Hong Kong Abstract It was proposed about 30 years ago, that language is the integration of other more basic cognitive functions (Wang, 1978), which is called the 'mosaic theory' of language. In the current ERP studies on the hemispheric specialization of tone perception, I find evidence to support this theory. The investigation of tone lateralization begins with the debate between the task-dependent and cue-dependent hypotheses, which are based on the linguistic and acoustically driven mechanisms respectively. These two hypotheses predict opposite lateralization patterns of tone perception. However, it is natural to examine both the linguistic function and the acoustic property of lexical tone, since it is defined as the use of pitch variations to distinguish lexical meanings. The results show that both aspects affect the lateralization in tone perception, in both early (~200 ms) and late (~400 ms) time windows.

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This is the first work that considers both the linguistic role and the acoustic property of lexical tone in locating its lateralization. The results contribute to a more complete picture of tone lateralization, and support a parallel processing of both linguistic and acoustic factors. More importantly, my experiments indicate that language functions such as tone perception are comprised of various concurrent cognitive functions, linguistic as well as non-linguistic, such as semantic memory or pitch perception, in accordance with the 'mosaic theory' of language that "language is regarded as a kind of 'interface' among a variety of more basic abilities". SHUAI, Lan graduated with a Ph.D. degree from The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2009, under the supervision of Professor William S-Y. Wang. She joined the Aphasia, Dyslexia & Dysgraphia lab in the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences in HKU afterwards. Her research interests include speech perception,phonological processing in character recognition, especially the processing of lexical tones in both speech perception and character recognition.

RESEARCH SEMINAR ASPECTS OF GRAMMATICALIZATION IN THE SOUTHERN MIN DIALECT OF HUI'AN: DIVERGENCE, CONVERGENCE AND PHONOLOGICAL REDUCTION Date: 7th April, 2010 Time: 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Venue: Room 136, Main Building, The University of Hong Kong Ms. Weirong CHEN Department of Linguistics The University of Hong Kong Abstract The Southern Min dialect of Hui'an is spoken in the Hui'an County of Quanzhou City in Fujian Province in China. This talk focuses on three aspects of grammaticalization in this dialect, i.e., divergence, convergence and phonological reduction, especially the latter two aspects. Divergence is regarded as one of five principles of grammaticalization by Hopper (1991: 24), which is similar to 'split' in Heine and Reh (1984: 57), but different from the divergency model in Heine et al. (1991). We follow Heine et al. (1991) and find that divergence is also a salient characteristic of grammaticalization phenomena in the Hui’an dialect, which is supported by plenty of examples. Compared with divergence, much less attention has been paid to the concept of convergence which only occupies a very small portion of the literature on grammaticalization studies and has not been given a clear definition. In addition, the term 'convergence' or 'converge' in the literature

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is used to refer to phenomena where grammaticalization paths of two or more different lexical items merge. Some case studies of grammaticalization in the Hui'an dialect, however, provide an illustration that there exists another kind of convergence, i.e., convergence occurring between the grammaticalization paths of one lexical item. In other words, different grammaticalization paths of one lexical item merge at a later stage of the paths. Phonological reduction is not necessarily associated with grammaticalization. However, some examples of phonological reduction found in the Hui'an dialect are clearly related to grammaticalization. Three kinds of phonological reduction will be discussed: (a) segmental erosion; (b) syllable fusion; and (c) tone reduction. Weirong Chen is currently pursuing her Ph. D. degree in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include morphosyntax, Chinese dialectology and historical linguistics.

Language Centre English Seminar New directions in English prosody: Tone in (some) New Englishes Presented by Dr Lisa Lim University of Hong Kong Date : Monday, March 15, 2010 Time : 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. Venue : OEE1106, OEN Hall (East) Ho Sin Hang Campus, HKBU ABSTRACT This paper examines the prosody of New Englishes which have evolved in contexts in which tone languages are present – and often dominant – in the ecology, basing the investigation on both sociohistorical and linguistic factors. It focuses on Singapore English (SgE) and draws interesting comparisons with Hong Kong English (HKE), two Asian Englishes which have emerged in intense contact with Sinitic languages. Given that tone is recognised as an areal feature, acquired easily by languages in contact, it is not surprising that tone is found in both SgE and HKE, in particles and at word- and phrase-level. Such observations provide support for the argument that in the consideration of New Englishes – here, Asian (but also African) Englishes – the traditional view of English as a stress/intonation language needs reviewing. Such varieties should not be seen as aberrant in comparison to ‘standard’ English, but should be recognised as having their own prosodic system due to substrate typology, and possibly even classified as tone languages. This also has implications for the analysis and teaching of the prosody of such varieties of English. A closer examination of the actual patterning found in SgE compared to HKE then leads to further consideration of influence from another – non-tone language – substrate, Bazaar/Baba Malay. Such an observation supports the notion of the founder principle in the ecology paradigm: as the early English speakers in Singapore, the Peranakans, with Baba Malay as their vernacular, may

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well have been the community of speakers whose influence on the emergent contact language has been most significant and persistent. BIO-STATMENT Lisa Lim is in the School of English at the University of Hong Kong, where she directs the Language and Communication Programme, and teaches in that and the English Studies Programme. Her current research /teaching areas include New Englishes, especially Asian, postcolonial varieties, with particular interest in contact dynamics in the ecology paradigm, with attention to both sociohistorical and structural aspects, as well as identity, endangerment, shift and revitalisation in multilingual minority communities. Research Centre into Language Education and Acquisition in Multilingual Societies (RCLEAMS) Professor Tony Hung Language Centre Hong Kong Baptist University Date: 24th March 2010 (Wed) Time:3:30 – 5:00 PM Venue: D1 LP 07 Tai Po Campus HKIEd The spread of English as a world language in recent decades accompanied by the emergence of ‘new varieties’– varieties of English all over the world (such as Singapore, Malaysian Indian and Filipino English) -- has not been adequately reflected in corresponding changes in attitudes and perceptions about the status of ‘World Englishes’, and in language-teaching materials and approaches, which have remained largely Anglo-centric in their content and outlook, aimed at helping learners assimilate ‘native-speaker’ linguistic and cultural norms. In the area of pronunciation, teachers have traditionally focused on phonetics, and on imitating the exact phonetic quality of particular ‘native-speaker’ models (such as RP and General American). In the context of English as a World Language, this is a questionable goal, especially when the sounds of English vary so much phonetically among native speakers, not to mention speakers of new varieties of English. More importantly, in a world where ‘non-native’ speakers far outnumber ‘native’ speakers (estimated at 1 billion vs. 400 million), traditional ‘purism’ must necessarily give way to pragmatic considerations of international intelligibility, easy of acquisition, and culture and identity. The present paper advocates shifting the focus away from phonetics to phonology, from the exact phonetic quality of speech sounds to systematic phonological properties, which set languages apart. Given that L2 speakers of English tend naturally to transfer sounds from their L1 to L2, it would be more effective to leave these sounds alone as long as they approximate L2 sounds, and concentrate instead on helping learners acquire important phonological contrasts, e.g. between [+tense] and [-tense] vowels and [+voice] and [-voice] obstruents, which are difficult for our learners to acquire and which may affect intelligibility. Other important phonological properties, such as phonotactics and distribution (affecting the production of consonant clusters, and sequences such as ‘-sp’ (as in grasp) etc.), should receive due attention, as opposed to less essential features such as allophonic variations, vowel reduction and stress-timed rhythm.

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Professor TONY T.N. HUNG is a Professor in the Language Centre, Hong Kong Baptist University. He holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of California (San Diego) and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics from the University of Lancaster. He has published a number of books and journal papers in a variety of areas in linguistics and applied linguistics, including phonology, the syntax‐phonology interface, the teaching of grammar and pronunciation,World Englishes (esp. Hong Kong and Singapore English), and Chinese linguistics.

Professor San Duanmu Department of Linguistics, University of Michigan Date: Time: Venue: 3 March 2010 (Wednesday) 4:30 - 6:00pm P4704 (Level 4, Purple Zone), Academic Building, CityU

Talk (1): Prosody in Text: Patterns of Word-length Choices in Written Chinese Corpora Date: 3 March 2010 (Wednesday) Time: 4:30 to 6:00 pm Venue: P4704 (Level 4, Purple Zone), CityU

Abstract It is well known that Chinese has a preference for certain word length combinations, as shown in (1) and (2). The disfavored forms in [N N] and [V O] are the exact opposite. The patterns can be analyzed in terms of familiar metrical requirements, shown in (3)-(5). (1) In [N N], 1+2 is not favored 2+2 技術 工人 `skill worker' 2+1 技術 工 *1+2 技 工人 1+1 技 工

(2) In [V O], 2+1 is not favored 2+2 學習 繪畫 `study painting' *2+1 學習 畫 1+2 學 繪畫 1+1 學 畫 (3) Metrical requirements (S indicates a syllable)
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a. A foot is made of two syllables, either (S+S) or (SS). b. Phrasal stress goes to the first N in [N N] and O in [V O]. (4) Foot structures for [N N] (offending foot underlined) (SS)(SS), (SS)S, *(S)(SS), (S+S) (5) Foot structures for [V O] (offending foot underlined) (SS)(SS), *(SS)(S), S(SS), (S+S) Exceptions to (1) and (2) are possible (e.g. [皮手套] ‘leather glove’ and [喜歡錢] ‘love money’). However, they are believed to be uncommon. The analysis makes a strong prediction that remains to be verified. In particular, we expect 1+2 to be infrequent for [N N] and 2+1 to be infrequent for [V O]. In this study I examine the prediction empirically, using the Lancaster Corpus of Mandarin Chinese, which contains a balanced variety of texts that total 1.5 million characters. Initial statistics do not seem to support the prediction, but a closer examination shows that the prediction is largely correct. Quantitative results of all [N N] and [V N] patterns will be reported and analyzed, and exceptions will be discussed.

Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics Research Seminar Syllabification in English: Contextualizing the Law of Initials and the Law of Finals Presented by Professor San Duanmu Department of Linguistics, University of Michigan Date: 4 March 2010 (Thursday) Time: 4:30 – 6:00pm Venue: P4904 (Level 4, Purple Zone), Academic Building, CityU

Abstract From Most works on syllabification assume the Maximal Onset Principle, which can be stated in (1). (1) The Maximal Onset Principle (MOP, Pulgram 1970, Kahn 1976) Put as many consonants in the onset as is allowed by the given language. For example, in expect [ k][sp the second onset is [sp], which is allowed in English, but not ct], [ksp], which is not allowed in English. Similarly, singing is [s ][ and not [s ] ][ ], because [] can be a coda but not an onset. Whether a syllable boundary is allowed or not in turn depends on more fundamental principles, which have been called the Law of Initials and the Law of Finals (Vennemann 1988), restated in (2) and (3). (2) The Law of Initials (LOI): Word-medial onsets should resemble word-initial onsets.
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(3) The Law of Finals (LOF): Word-medial rimes should resemble word-final rimes. Blevins (2004) argues that in some cases the LOI and the LOF cannot be satisfied at the same time, which creates ambiguity between alternative analyses. Consider the examples in (4). (4) Analysis of lemon and city [l m][n] [n] violates the LOI, because word-initial V is preceded by [ ] [l ][mn] [l violates the LOF, because no word ends in [ or any lax V ] ] [s ][i] [i] violates the LOI and [s ] violates the LOF (no word ends in [ ]) [s i] [ violates the LOI (no word starts with [ and [s violates the LOF ][ i] ]) ] I argue that Blevins’s analysis is based on words in isolation, which is inadequate. Instead, we should consider the LOI and the LOF in context, where word-final [ and word initial V are both ] found. For example, in get it [g ][ the first word ends [ and the second word starts with t], ] V without [ Indeed, since a word-medial syllable boundary lies between adjacent syllables, it is ]. more appropriate to compare it with adjacent words. Therefore, I propose the Contextualized LOI (CLOI) and the Contextualized LOF (CLOF), shown in (5) and (6). (5) CLOI: Word-medial onsets should resemble phrase-medial word-initial onsets. (6) CLOF: Word-medial rimes should resemble phrase-medial word-final rimes. I show that there is no longer a problem, or ambiguity, with words like lemon and city. The entire CELEX lexicon will be used to demonstrate that the CLOI and the CLOF can always be satisfied. Speaker San DUANMU is Professor of Linguistics, University of Michigan. He received his Ph.D. in Linguistics from MIT in 1990 and has held teaching posts at Fudan University, Shanghai (1981-1986) and the University of Michigan (1991-present). He is the author of The Phonology of Standard Chinese (2nd edition, Oxford 2007) and SyllableStructure: The Liminits of Variation (Oxford 2009).

Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages The Chinese University of Hong Kong presents a talk by Prof. Ng Lawrence Manwa University of Hong Kong On “English vowels produced by Cantonese-English bilingual speakers” (in English) Date: February 11, 2010 (Thursday) Time: 4:30-6:15 pm Venue: G04, Y.C. Liang Hall (LHC) , The Chinese University of Hong Kong

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ABSTRACT Accent can be understood as some articulatory inaccuracies during production of target sounds. It is believed to originate from the subtle interaction between the first and second languages (L1 & L2). Production of L1 and L2 sounds appears to be competing or interfering with each other. The resulting phonetic deviation is perceived as a foreign accent. In the study of accent, the ability of L2 sound acquisition by adult L2 learners can be accounted for by two different hypotheses. Both hypotheses take into considerations the relationship between L1 and L2 speech sounds. It has been widely accepted that the L2 sounds should be categorized as “new” or “similar” by comparing the phonetic inventories of L1 and L2. The first hypothesis believes that nearly all L2 phonetic deviations involve sounds that do not occur in L1 (new sounds) since the acoustic features of L2 which are phonemically irrelevant in L1 would be filtered out due to the establishment of L1 phonology, whereas acquisition of familiar L2 sounds is considerably more straight forward and easier to acquire. The second hypothesis known as the Speech Learning Model (SLM), however, argues that adult L2 learners demonstrate better performance in producing new L2 sounds than familiar L2 vowel sounds. This SLM prediction is based on the concept of equivalence classification that the familiar L2 sounds are likely to be treated equally to the L1 counterparts by L2 learners. As a result, L2 learners will never be able to establish a precise phonetic category for the familiar L2 sounds. The present study aimed at testing the SLM through the examination of English vowels produced by Cantonese speakers who were speaking English as an L2. Forty Cantonese-English (CE) bilingual adult speakers (20 males and 20 females) participated in the study. The 11 English vowels /i, e, , u, o, / embedded in an /hVd/ context were produced by Cantonese , , , , , ESL speakers and native English speakers. The first two formants (F1 & F2) obtained from the vowels produced by Cantonese ESL speakers and native English speakers were compared, based on which Euclidean Distance (ED) values were calculated. Results indicated that SLM may not apply to Cantonese ESL speakers.

Speaker John J. Ohala, Emeritus Professor of Phonetics, Department of Linguistics, UC Berkeley. Title of the talk ‘Phonological Universals: where do they come from and where do they reside?’ Abstract Phonological universals – whether in conditioned allophony or sound changes or their result: segment inventories, phonotactic (MSC) constraints, morphological alternations and the like – originate in the only things that are universal to the speakers of all human languages: the anatomical, physiological – including especially the aerodynamic -- , acoustic, and perceptual (and, I would add, the ethological) factors governing speech. End of story. I dispute claims that phonological universals reside in the (mental, psychological) synchronic grammars of native speakers or (more extravagantly!) in the genetic (= in the DNA) structure which enables homo loquens to construct grammars that enable the type of complex communication found in human speech. If I am right, then the past half-century or more of speculations about synchronic (=

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mental or psychological or cognitive) phonological grammars are a colossal illusion. To add flesh to the skeleton of this very simple phonological theory I will also describe some research in progress on how retroflexion of apical stops and pharyngeal expansion may facilitate longer voicing in stops.

Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages The Chinese University of Hong Kong presents a talk by Professor Ding Picus Sizhi University of Hong Kong On “The Concept of Domain in Tone Studies –With Special Reference to Tone Languages” (in English) Date: September 24, 2009 (Thursday) Venue: Lecture Theatre 2, Swire Hall, Fung King Hey Building, The Chinese University of Hong Kong ABSTRACT It is well-known that the domain plays an essential role in prosodic studies of intonation and tone

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sandhi (Gussenhoven 2004; Chen 2000). It is seldom addressed in analyzing lexical tone systems, however. Detailed description and analysis of tone sandhi in Shanghainese (Zee 2003), Lhasa Tibetan (Duanmu 1992) and Prinmi (Ding 2001, 2006) reveal that the domain represents a crucial concept in the lexical tone system. With the binary features of [±] and [±], three distinct kinds of tone systems can be distinguished: (a) [+] and [] in the syllable-tone system, e.g. Mandarin, (b) [] and [+] in the word-tone system, e.g. Lhasa Tibetan, and [] and [] in the melody-tone system, e.g. Japanese. The domain-based approach to tone languages also has the advantage of explaining some regular tone sandhi without using the notion of stress in a highly abstract sense (as in Yip 1995 or Duanmu 2007). More importantly, the framework could serve as a descriptive tool for analyzing tone languages and it might be instrumental in appreciating the diversity of tone languages in China. References: Chen, Matthew. 2000. Tone Sandhi: Patterns across Chinese Dialects. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ding, Picus S. 2001. The pitch-accent system of Niuwozi Prinmi. Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area 24(2):57-83. ____. 2006. Typological study of tonal systems of Japanese and Prinmi: Towards a definition of pitch-accent languages. Journal of Universal Language 7(2):1-35. (http://www.unish.org/unish/DOWN/PDF/7-2-01-JapaneseandPrinmi.pdf) Duanmu, San. 1992. An Antosegmental Analysis of Tone in Four Tibetan Languages. Linguistics of Tibeto-Burman Area 15.1:65-91. ____. 2007. The Phonology of Standard Chinese. (2nd ed.) Oxford: Oxford University Press. Gussenhoven, Carols. 2004. The Phonology of Tone and Intonation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Yip, Moira. 1995. Tone in East Asian Languages. In J. Goldsmith (ed.), The Handbook of Phonological Theory, 477-94. Oxford: Blackwell. Zee, Eric. 2003. Shanghai phonology. In Sino-Tibetan languages, ed. by Graham Thurgood and R. LaPolla, 131-138. London: Routledge Press.

Department of English Seminar Information Technology Solutions Prosody in Hong Kong English: Aspects of speech rhythm and intonation Dr. Jane Setter University of Reading Monday, 21 September 2009, 5 - 6:30 pm AG434, 4/F Department of English, Core A, PolyU campus Abstract This paper reports research on prosodic features of speech in Hong Kong English (HKE), specifically, rhythm and intonation. Setter (2006) adopted a pedagogically oriented, hierarchical methodology to examine HKE speech rhythm, in which weak, unstressed, stressed and nuclear syllables in a semi-scripted speech task were compared to British English data. It was found that

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rhythmic patterns in HKE differ significantly in comparison to British English, and it was hypothesised that this may lead to reduced intelligibility in international communication in some settings. In the current paper, the material from Setter (2006) is re-examined using the Pairwise Variability Index (PVI) (Low, Grabe & Nolan 2000), a measure which compares successive unit durations, in this case applied at the level of the syllable. Results show that a similar conclusion is reached using the PVI. In addition, new HKE data is presented to which the PVI is applied at the level of the syllable peak (vowel), and compared to findings from an existing study on British and Singapore English. It is found that the HKE data is more similar to the Singapore English data than the British English data, indicating that HKE and Singapore English speech are possibly more mutually intelligible as far as rhythm is concerned. Concerning intonation, this paper examines tonality, tonicity and tone in HKE speech data, collected using an information gap task, in which the interlocutors are HKE speakers and a non-native speaker of English. The results are presented in terms of patterns emerging in HKE as a World English. References: Low, E. L., Grabe, E. & Nolan, F. 2000. Quantitative characterisations of speech rhythm: syllabletiming in Singapore English. Language and Speech 43(4): 377-401. Setter, J. 2006. Speech rhythm in World Englishes: The case of Hong Kong. TESOL Quarterly 40(4): 763-782. Biodata Jane Setter is Senior Lecturer in Phonetics and Head of the Department of Applied Linguistics, University of Reading, UK. Her PhD work was on speech rhythm in Hong Kong English. Her main research interests are the phonology of Hong Kong English and other world Englishes, and speech prosody in atypical populations. She has worked in Hong Kong and Japan as well as the UK. Jane is co-author of the forthcoming book Hong Kong English (Edinburgh University Press 2010), and co-editor of Daniel Jones's English Pronouncing Dictionary (17th edition, Cambridge University Press 2007).

CBS Departmental Seminar on June 5 Title: English Word Stress and Vowel Reduction Revisited: From the Perspective of Corpus Phonetics Speaker: Jiahong Yuan (University of Pennsylvania) Date: June 5, 2009 (Friday) Time: 4:30pm – 6:00pm Venue: AG 507, Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studies, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Abstract: The field of phonetics has experienced two revolutions in the last century: the advent of the sound spectrograph in the 1950s and the application of computers beginning in the 1970s. Today, advances in networking, computation and mass storage are driving a third revolution: a movement from the study of small, individual datasets to the analysis of large published corpora. In this talk, I will present a study of English word stress and vowel reduction based on a large speech corpus.

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The study found that pitch and duration play different roles in distinguishing word stress. In the case of pitch, primary-stress vowels were different from secondary-stress and unstressed vowels; in the case of duration, unstressed vowels were different from the other two types of vowels. The study also demonstrated that lack of stress is not a sufficient condition for vowel reduction. About the speaker: Jiahong Yuan is Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania. He received a B.A. in Chinese languages and an M.A. in linguistics from Peking University, and a Ph.D. in linguistics from Cornell University. His research interests include speech prosody, corpus phonetics, and integration of speech technology in phonetics research.

Lectures by Professor Steve Harlow on Welsh Phonology Date & Time: May 26, 2009 2:30-6:00pm Venue: LT3, Lady Shaw Building, Chinese University of Hong Kong Language Acquisition Lab, Dept. of Linguistics & Modern Languages, CUHK The Proper Treatment of Initial Consonant Mutation in Celtic –A Constraint-based Account All the Celtic languages exhibit the phenomenon of Initial Consonant Mutation (ICM), which leads to words exhibiting alternations like the following from Welsh in which the lexeme for 'cat' can appear in one of four different orthographic and phonological forms: cath (/k/), gath (/t/), chath (/x/), nghath (/h/). The phenomenon has attracted significant attention from linguists over the past 50 years, but analyses typically fail to account for the full range of data. With a small number of exceptions, analyses have assumed that ICM is to be handled in the phonology (e.g. Lieber (1983), Willis (1986), Ball & Muller (1992), Asudeh & Klein (2002), Pyatt (2007)), although it is riddled with exceptions and non-phonological conditioning, such as the following (from Welsh): some words (such as foreign loans) are exempt from ICM: compare i Fangor (to Bangor) and i Bonn (to Bonn) the definite determiner y triggers ICM only on the lexeme dau (two) prenominal adjectives trigger ICM on the following word, but their comparative and superlative forms do not the masculine numeral tri triggers ICM, but the feminine counterpart tair does not. In this talk I will address data from Welsh and will argue (with Green (2007)) that, although its realisation is clearly phonological, ICM is best analysed in morpho-syntactic terms. I will present an explicit analysis in Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar in which ICM is modelled by a default inheritance hierarchy, and will show how this allows a straightforward treatment of both the productive patterns of ICM and the idiosyncratic ones mentioned above. Starting on 26 May 2009 The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Faculty of Humanities Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studies & Department of English

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4:30 - 6:00 pm M. A. K. Halliday M.A.K. Halliday Seminar Series 2 Comparative Linguistic Studies of Chinese and English M.A.K. Halliday, with the collaboration of Kazuhiro Teruya (for comparisons with Japanese) 3. Phonology: a prosodic analysis of the Chinese (Mandarin) syllable — 11 June (Thursday), Room FJ302 Starting with the total syllabary of present‐day Mandarin (Putonghua), I shall suggest a comprehensive description of the syllable in prosodic terms, based on the traditional Chinese analysis into Onset and Rhyme (ni, yùn). The syllable is described as a movement between two articulatory complexes, which are defined prosodically in terms of the systems of APERTURE and RESONANCE (the Rhyme), and of ALIGNMENT, MANNER and VOICE ONSET TIME (the Onset), which a system of POSTURE (y/w/a) in both, and one of POSTURE SHIFT (stable / shifting) in moving from one to the other. It will be suggested that such an analysis arises naturally out of Chinese phonological theory, and makes accurate predictions regarding the phonetic exponence, including variations that occur in everyday informal speech.

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