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


Taiwan Mandarin Vowels: An Acoustic Investigation

Vol. 28 No. 3   6/1998  


Taiwan Mandarin Vowels: An Acoustic Investigation


Yueh-chin Chang









Key words

discourse, distribution, function, agree ment token, minimal response, mass media, language use, language change


      After Mandarin education started in the 50’s, Taiwan Mandarin is fixed today. Taiwan Mandarin is quite different from the Standard Mandarin that the Minister Education issued in 1932. This study investigated the 8 Taiwan Mandarin vowels from acoustic viewpoint. In addition to comparing the different vowel realizations of Taiwan Mandarin among three linguistic group in Taiwan (Minnan, Hakka, and Mandarin), the difference between Taiwan Mandarin and Peking Putonghua is also investigated. The results show that vowel realizations produced by Minnan and Hakka linguistic groups are affected by the vowel system of their mother tongue. For instance, in terms of vowel chart, vowels produced by Hakka speakers are fronter that those produced by Minnan and Mandarin speakers. The difference between Taiwan Mandarin and Peking Putonghua is that Peking Putong hua’s vowel space is bigger than that of Taiwan Mandarin, and the vowels of Peking Putonghua are more instant.

    Generally, Chinese Empty Vowel is regarded as apical vowel. However, Tse(1990) considered it a high, back, ungrounded vowel[ω]; while Huang (1994) considered it as a central ungrounded vowel [i]. Based on the Empty vowel’s X-radiography and its acoustic characteristics, the acoustic studies on Japanese [ω] and Korean [i], we argued that the Chinese Empty Vowel is an apical vowel.




Author: Yueh-chin Chang
Genre: Article
Click Num: