Phonetic variations and sound changes in Hong Kong Cantonese

Diachronic review, synchronic study and implications for speech sound assessment

Carol K.S. To, Sharynne McLeod, Pamela S.P. Cheung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

The aim of this article was to describe phonetic variations and sound changes in Hong Kong Cantonese (HKC) to provide speech-language pathologists with information about acceptable variants of standard pronunciations for speech sound assessments. Study 1 examined the pattern of variations and changes based on past diachronic research and historical written records. Nine phonetic variations were found. Five in syllable-initial and syllabic contexts: (1) [n-] ? [l-], (2) [n-] ? O-, (3) O- ? [n-], (4) [kwe-] ? [ke-], (5) syllabic [ni] ? [m]; and four in syllable-final contexts: (6) [-n] ? [-n], (7) [-n] ? [-n], (8) [-k] ? [-t], (9) [-t] ? [-k]. Historical records demonstrated the pattern of variation and changes in HKC across time. In study 2, a large-scale synchronic study of speakers of differing ages was undertaken to determine acceptable phonetic variations of HKC for speech sound assessments. In the synchronic study, single-words were elicited from 138 children (10;8-12;4) and 112 adults (18-45 years) who spoke Cantonese and lived in Hong Kong. Synchronic evidence demonstrated five acceptable variants in syllable-initial and syllabic contexts: (1) [n-] ? [l-], (2) [n-] ? O-, (3) O- ? [n-], (4) [kwe-] ? [ke-] and (5) syllabic [ni] ? [m] and four incomplete sound changes in syllable-final contexts: (6) [-n] ? [-n], (7) [-n] ? [-n], (8) [-k] ? [-t] and (9) [-t] ? [-k]. The incomplete sound changes may still be accepted as variants in speech sound assessments unless related speech problems are indicated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-353
Number of pages21
JournalClinical Linguistics and Phonetics
Volume29
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2015

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Phonetics
Hong Kong
phonetics
Diachrony
Hong Kong Cantonese
Speech Sounds
Sound Change
Language
language
evidence
Research

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title = "Phonetic variations and sound changes in Hong Kong Cantonese: Diachronic review, synchronic study and implications for speech sound assessment",
abstract = "The aim of this article was to describe phonetic variations and sound changes in Hong Kong Cantonese (HKC) to provide speech-language pathologists with information about acceptable variants of standard pronunciations for speech sound assessments. Study 1 examined the pattern of variations and changes based on past diachronic research and historical written records. Nine phonetic variations were found. Five in syllable-initial and syllabic contexts: (1) [n-] ? [l-], (2) [n-] ? O-, (3) O- ? [n-], (4) [kwe-] ? [ke-], (5) syllabic [ni] ? [m]; and four in syllable-final contexts: (6) [-n] ? [-n], (7) [-n] ? [-n], (8) [-k] ? [-t], (9) [-t] ? [-k]. Historical records demonstrated the pattern of variation and changes in HKC across time. In study 2, a large-scale synchronic study of speakers of differing ages was undertaken to determine acceptable phonetic variations of HKC for speech sound assessments. In the synchronic study, single-words were elicited from 138 children (10;8-12;4) and 112 adults (18-45 years) who spoke Cantonese and lived in Hong Kong. Synchronic evidence demonstrated five acceptable variants in syllable-initial and syllabic contexts: (1) [n-] ? [l-], (2) [n-] ? O-, (3) O- ? [n-], (4) [kwe-] ? [ke-] and (5) syllabic [ni] ? [m] and four incomplete sound changes in syllable-final contexts: (6) [-n] ? [-n], (7) [-n] ? [-n], (8) [-k] ? [-t] and (9) [-t] ? [-k]. The incomplete sound changes may still be accepted as variants in speech sound assessments unless related speech problems are indicated.",
keywords = "Bilingual, Cantonese, Children, Communication, Early childhood, Education, Language, Multilingual, Speech, Assessment, Speech articulation test, Sound change, Phonetic variation",
author = "To, {Carol K.S.} and Sharynne McLeod and Cheung, {Pamela S.P.}",
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Phonetic variations and sound changes in Hong Kong Cantonese : Diachronic review, synchronic study and implications for speech sound assessment. / To, Carol K.S.; McLeod, Sharynne; Cheung, Pamela S.P.

In: Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics, Vol. 29, No. 5, 05.2015, p. 333-353.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Phonetic variations and sound changes in Hong Kong Cantonese

T2 - Diachronic review, synchronic study and implications for speech sound assessment

AU - To, Carol K.S.

AU - McLeod, Sharynne

AU - Cheung, Pamela S.P.

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N2 - The aim of this article was to describe phonetic variations and sound changes in Hong Kong Cantonese (HKC) to provide speech-language pathologists with information about acceptable variants of standard pronunciations for speech sound assessments. Study 1 examined the pattern of variations and changes based on past diachronic research and historical written records. Nine phonetic variations were found. Five in syllable-initial and syllabic contexts: (1) [n-] ? [l-], (2) [n-] ? O-, (3) O- ? [n-], (4) [kwe-] ? [ke-], (5) syllabic [ni] ? [m]; and four in syllable-final contexts: (6) [-n] ? [-n], (7) [-n] ? [-n], (8) [-k] ? [-t], (9) [-t] ? [-k]. Historical records demonstrated the pattern of variation and changes in HKC across time. In study 2, a large-scale synchronic study of speakers of differing ages was undertaken to determine acceptable phonetic variations of HKC for speech sound assessments. In the synchronic study, single-words were elicited from 138 children (10;8-12;4) and 112 adults (18-45 years) who spoke Cantonese and lived in Hong Kong. Synchronic evidence demonstrated five acceptable variants in syllable-initial and syllabic contexts: (1) [n-] ? [l-], (2) [n-] ? O-, (3) O- ? [n-], (4) [kwe-] ? [ke-] and (5) syllabic [ni] ? [m] and four incomplete sound changes in syllable-final contexts: (6) [-n] ? [-n], (7) [-n] ? [-n], (8) [-k] ? [-t] and (9) [-t] ? [-k]. The incomplete sound changes may still be accepted as variants in speech sound assessments unless related speech problems are indicated.

AB - The aim of this article was to describe phonetic variations and sound changes in Hong Kong Cantonese (HKC) to provide speech-language pathologists with information about acceptable variants of standard pronunciations for speech sound assessments. Study 1 examined the pattern of variations and changes based on past diachronic research and historical written records. Nine phonetic variations were found. Five in syllable-initial and syllabic contexts: (1) [n-] ? [l-], (2) [n-] ? O-, (3) O- ? [n-], (4) [kwe-] ? [ke-], (5) syllabic [ni] ? [m]; and four in syllable-final contexts: (6) [-n] ? [-n], (7) [-n] ? [-n], (8) [-k] ? [-t], (9) [-t] ? [-k]. Historical records demonstrated the pattern of variation and changes in HKC across time. In study 2, a large-scale synchronic study of speakers of differing ages was undertaken to determine acceptable phonetic variations of HKC for speech sound assessments. In the synchronic study, single-words were elicited from 138 children (10;8-12;4) and 112 adults (18-45 years) who spoke Cantonese and lived in Hong Kong. Synchronic evidence demonstrated five acceptable variants in syllable-initial and syllabic contexts: (1) [n-] ? [l-], (2) [n-] ? O-, (3) O- ? [n-], (4) [kwe-] ? [ke-] and (5) syllabic [ni] ? [m] and four incomplete sound changes in syllable-final contexts: (6) [-n] ? [-n], (7) [-n] ? [-n], (8) [-k] ? [-t] and (9) [-t] ? [-k]. The incomplete sound changes may still be accepted as variants in speech sound assessments unless related speech problems are indicated.

KW - Bilingual

KW - Cantonese

KW - Children

KW - Communication

KW - Early childhood

KW - Education

KW - Language

KW - Multilingual

KW - Speech

KW - Assessment

KW - Speech articulation test

KW - Sound change

KW - Phonetic variation

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DO - 10.3109/02699206.2014.1003329

M3 - Article

VL - 29

SP - 333

EP - 353

JO - Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics

JF - Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics

SN - 0269-9206

IS - 5

ER -