The Typology of Nasal Onsets Across Chinese Dialects

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This study examines the typology of nasal onset consonants across 201 Chinese dialects, focusing on their nasal inventories and nasal place contrasts in two vowel contexts [_i] vs. [_a]. The results show an average of 3.129 nasals per dialect, with [m] [ŋ] [n] as the most frequently observed. In terms of nasal inventory, [m n ŋ] turns out to be the most frequent, followed by [m n/ɲ ŋ]. In terms of place contrasts, the [_a] context is generally more likely to allow nasals at different places than the [_i] context. A further examination on the phonotactics confirms that nasals are more likely to be combined with a rime [a] than [i], with the exception of [n/ɲ].
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83 -103
Number of pages21
JournalChinese Journal of Phonetics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

User-Defined Keywords

  • Nasal
  • Onset
  • Place contrast
  • Phonotactics
  • Chinese dialects


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