An Investigation of Sonority Theory in Mandarin Chinese
Li Qiang [+]
Dalian University of Technology
The Sonority Sequencing Principle (SSP) has been viewed as the fundamental tenet of sonority theory on a sonority ranking scale. Yet few studies focus on Mandarin Chinese when examining the sonority hypothesis, except for Chung, Code and Ball (2004) on Cantonese. The current study investigated the 2500 most commonly used modern Chinese characters, summarized the patterns of their phoneme ordering, and analyzed the distributions of the patterns of phoneme ordering. The results show both agreements and disagreements when compared with the SSP. These results can be explained either because the SSP is not universal, or because the 2500 Chinese characters chosen are not thoroughly representative of Mandarin Chinese. Thus more data are suggested to be collected and analyzed.