The social implications of syllable-final nasal mergers in Taiwan Mandarin: A variation study

Hsi Yao Su*


研究成果: 雜誌貢獻期刊論文同行評審

3 引文 斯高帕斯(Scopus)


This study quantitatively examines the variation of (ing) and (eng) in Taiwan, drawing data from sociolinguistic interviews with subjects from Taipei and Tainan. It argues that, first, the two should be treated as two separate variables rather than one with two phonological conditions, and second, language external factors, including speaker's place of origin, gender, current residence, and topic all influence the two variables, but to different extents. Place of origin has the strongest effect on the variation of (ing) and (eng), but the use of the merger variants of the two variables is respectively led by southerners and northerners, indicating a dialectal split. The merger variant [in] of (ing) is especially closely associated with regional identity. Gender also plays a substantial role in the variation of (ing), with males using the merger variant [in] significantly more than female subjects. In contrast, the relation between gender and (eng) appears more opaque, with Taipei females leading in the use of [an] and Tainan females using it least frequently among the 2 × 2 dyads of gender and region. The seemingly irregular pattern with regard to gender can be explained in light of Fon et al.'s (2011) perception test results and sociolinguistic literature related to gender and language variation. The study further provides a sketch of the development of the social meanings of the two variables in light of the findings of this study.

頁(從 - 到)767-802
期刊Language and Linguistics
出版狀態已發佈 - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • 語言與語言學
  • 語言和語言學


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