Jump to the main content block
Tsing Hua Journal of Chinese Studies
ISSN 0577-9170; DOI 10.6503/THJCS


The Development of Ancient Nasal Initials in Puxian Dialect

Vol. 44 No. 1   3/2014    


The Development of Ancient Nasal Initials in Puxian Dialect


Hsiu-Hsueh Liu









Key words

Language contact, Language change, Min dialect


   A comparative study of Eastern Min (E-Min), Southern Min (S-Min) and the Puxian dialects shows that the development of ancient nasal initials ( ANIs) in both Eastern and Southern Min. the evolution of ANIs in Puxian also enlightens us on the asymmetric development of those in EMin and SMin. This paper proposes that the denasalization of ANIs in SMin is triggered by the contrast between oral and nasalvowels, which were nasalized by nasal endings that vanished later. While ANIs and SMin were denasalized before an oral vowel to obtain a nasal agreement with it, those in EMin have retained their nasality, since EMin has no oral-nasal vowel contrast. The ANIs in Puxian now feature [m-, n-,η-,p-, t-, k- ], different from [m-, n-,η-] in EMin and [m/b-, n/l-,η/g-]in SMing. This paper argues that the [p-, t-k-] pronunciations of ANIs in Puxian are a further development from SMin’s [b-, l- g- ] to fulfill the requirement of no voiced obstruent constraint of EMin. In sun, the phonological phenomenon in Puxian shows serial diachronic influences of SMin and EMin.



Author: Hsiu-hsueh Liu
Genre: Article
Click Num: