Implicational Relation and Perceptual Distinction: A Case Study on Place Contrasts of Fricatives Vs. Affricates

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Abstract

A typological survey across Chinese dialects reveals that, in the [_i] context, the place contrasts of dental vs. palatal affricates (i.e., [tsi—tɕi] and [tshi — tɕhi]) imply the place contrast of fricatives (i.e., [si — ɕi]). Assuming a connection between the implicational relation of phonological contrasts and perceptual distinction, this study examines the relative perceptual distinction of the sound pairs [tsi — tɕi] [tshi — tɕhi] and [si — ɕi] through a speeded-AX discrimination experiment. The results showed that the discrimination accuracy of the [tsi — tɕi] and [tshi — tɕhi] pairs is significantly lower than that of the [si — ɕi] pair, indicating that the former two pairs are perceptually less distinct than the latter pair. The results lend support to the contention that a sound pair in the unmarked category tends to be perceptually more distinct than its counterpart in a marked category.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-113
Number of pages9
JournalChinese Journal of Phonetics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2020

User-Defined Keywords

  • Implication relation
  • Perceptual distinction
  • Manners of articulation
  • Chinese dialects

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