The Use of Tone and Tonal Combination in Naming

Yoyo Pui Yiu Tsang, Jialin Zhang, Mingxing Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


This study investigates the use of tone and tonal combination in naming. Focusing on tones in Chinese company names, two research questions are raised as to (i) if there is a preference for particular tones in Chinese company names and (ii) if there is a preference for compatible tonal combinations (e.g., HL.LH) over conflicting tonal combinations (e.g., LH.LH). An examination of a corpus containing 122,480 disyllabic Chinese company names indicated (i) a preference for H tone to start a company name and (ii) a preference for compatible tonal combinations across the two syllables, as well as (iii) a tendency to avoid Tone 3 (LH/LLH) as the first or second syllable in a disyllabic company name.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-54
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental Linguistics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

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