Sequential and tonal markedness in Dongshi Hakka tone sandhi

Hui Shan Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates Dongshi Hakka tone sandhi within the output-oriented framework of Optimality Theory (OT, Prince & Smolensky 1993[2004], McCarthy & Prince 1993). Two different forces are shown to motivate the tonal alternation in Dongshi Hakka. The first force is assimilatory in nature and forces intersyllabic tone features to agree. Completely contradictory to this force is a dissimilatory effect that requires elements at the tonal level and the contour level to be different. These facts are captured by NOJUMP-t, OCP-T(11), OCP-c(1), and OCP-c(h1), which regulate the well-formedness of tonal combination. In addition to tonal sequential markedness, the markedness status of a tone itself also plays a role. A low register tone occurring in a head position is shown to be marked and indirectly decides whether a tonal combination that violates a certain sequential markedness constraint will undergo tone sandhi. This can be explicitly captured by the conjunction of tonal and sequential markedness constraints.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-357
Number of pages45
JournalLanguage and Linguistics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Dongshi Hakka
  • Optimality Theory
  • Sequential markedness
  • Tone sandhi
  • Tone-prominence interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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