Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/34670
Title: A Statistical Argument for the Homophony Avoidance Approach to the Disyllabification of Chinese
Authors: JIN WEN
Keywords: Chinese disyllabification, disyllable, homophony avoidance, morphology, phonology, Chinese Linguisitics
Issue Date: 29-Mar-2012
Source: JIN WEN (2012-03-29). A Statistical Argument for the Homophony Avoidance Approach to the Disyllabification of Chinese. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Under the homophone avoidance (HA) theory (Guo 1938, Lü 1963, etc), monosyllabic words are disyllabified to avoid homophonous ambiguities. Lü (1963) predicts that if a language has more types of syllables, it should have more monosyllabic words than a language with fewer types of syllables because the number of homophones can be reduced by an increase in the number of syllable types. Duanmu (1999, 2007) claims that no supporting evidence has been found in Chinese. Feng (2000) also argues against the HA approach and claims that FOOT-BINARY motivate the disyllabification of Chinese. This thesis argues for the HA approach and provides supporting evidence from corpora of Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, American English, Japanese and Hawaiian. Our discoveries support the HA approach motivation for the disyllabification of Chinese and applies cross-linguistically. The HA theory has interesting implications about the disyllabification of Chinese from a diachronic perspective, which are supposed to accompany the simplification of syllable structures in archaic Chinese.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/34670
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