Tone Sandhi

Discussions on the Cantonese language.
Thomas Chan

Re: Tone Sandhi

Postby Thomas Chan » Tue Jul 09, 2002 10:11 pm

Mark wrote:
>
> As for Xiansheng (for why I'm saying it, tone isn't extremely
> important), seeing the Cantonese equavalent (Sinsaang) made
> me think-- that's like Japanese in that in Japanese you say
> Sensei.

That is true to some extent, but I think it clouds the issue in
this situation. While 先生 is xiansheng in Mandarin, sinsaang in
Cantonese, and sensei in Japanese (and similar in Korean), it doesn't
have the same meanings or usages. Just between two Mandarin and
Cantonese, 先生 may also mean 'teacher' in Cantonese (irregardless of
whether the teacher is male or female) in addition to the more
ordinary meaning of 'Mr.', whereas in Japanese, 先生 is only
'teacher', although it is extended to various other kinds of
esteemed individuals besides teachers that Chinese would not dignify
in such a manner.

Add to this that 先生 wouldn't be the normal Cantonese term for 'Mr.'
when suffixed to a surname, but the "Mr. Zhang"/"Mr. Chang" (or more
appropriately here, "Mr. Cheung") would simply be a 張生 jeung55saang55
Sometimes the final changes to ~ saan55, which acccidently
resembles the Japanese honorific suffix -san. This truncation also
happens for 'Mrs.', hence 張太 jeung55tai33-35 rather than *張太太.


Thomas Chan
tc31@cornell.edu

James Campbell

Re: Tone Sandhi

Postby James Campbell » Wed Jul 10, 2002 2:02 am

Thomas,

Thank you very much for that information. I've noticed reference to Hashimoto several times. I'll check the national library in Taipei to see if they have a copy. Is it in English or Chinese? --as they would put it in a different place in the library. I have here an English name and a Chinese (粵語音韵). The only Hashimoto I have in my library is Mantarou Hashimoto's Ancient Chinese Phonology--an excellent work.

I've also found a discussion of the tone changes in my copy of 漢語方言概要.

>Yue (1972: 112) only gives the following for sandhi:
>53 -> 55 / __ 53/55/5
>21 -> 22 / __ 21/22
>(i.e., the 53 variant of yinping becomes the 55 variant when
>preceded by 53, 55, or 5 yinru; 21 yangping becomes 22 yangqu
>when preceded by 21 or 22--I know you can read the notation,
>but I just wanted to apply the traditional names to the tone
>contours)

Based on your description, I would write it as follows:
53 -> 55 / 53/55/5 ___
21 -> 22 / 21/22 ___
since you mentioned, "when preceded by".

>other change because it "...is seldom noticed partly because
>the pitch level of that tone is so low that that the distinction
>between a level and a falling variety often escapes the ear,
>and partly because many speakers probably do not pronounce
>the tone normally with a falling contour..." (113), etc. I'm sure

Quite true, and this goes for any other language in China. In actual application of the tones, I consider these things as "low" and do not worry about the different contours, because even if I pronounce it wrong it will probably still go unnoticed. But of course, for academic purposes, it's obligatory to be exact when describing these tones in print.

>Books not mentioning it might be the result of listing the changed
>tone alone and not mentioning the base tone (in some cases,
>the changed tone has overwhelmed the base tone and speakers no
>longer always know what the base tone originally was, particularly
>in the colloquial strata where reference to rhymebooks and other
>dialects cannot always be made).

I noticed this also happens in Minnan. If you take a word and pronounce it in isolation, sometimes people will still say it's sandhi-ed counterpart.

It was interesting about the shortening of 先生 and 太太. We do this with 先生 in Mandarin as well (or should I say Taiwanese Mandarin as I'm not sure about it in Beijing), but not with 太太. Or perhaps it is because they are spoken so fast the two words blend together: xi-eng, which sounds more or less like the Taiwanese 生 s(i)eng--also used. In Taiwanese Hokkien (Minnan), 先生 is always pronounced in neutral tone after names.

Because of Japanese influence in Taiwan, if a Taiwanese wanted to use the word 先生 for the meaning of teacher, they would pronounce it sensei instead--and this can be heard sometimes.

James Campbell

Thomas Chan

Re: Tone Sandhi

Postby Thomas Chan » Wed Jul 10, 2002 2:22 am

James Campbell wrote:
>
> Thank you very much for that information. I've noticed
> reference to Hashimoto several times. I'll check the national
> library in Taipei to see if they have a copy. Is it in
> English or Chinese? --as they would put it in a different
> place in the library. I have here an English name and a
> Chinese (粵語音韵). The only Hashimoto I have in my
> library is Mantarou Hashimoto's Ancient Chinese Phonology--an
> excellent work.

Her book is in English. She's the spouse of that late Hashimoto, and
the book is part of the same series as the one he wrote the Hakka
volume for. She publishes under three different combinations of different
pieces of her (romanized) Chinese and English name.

I don't know if that book has a Chinese title; it doesn't bear any
on it itself, although it might have been given a provisional one in
Chinese bibliographies on dialect studies.


> >Yue (1972: 112) only gives the following for sandhi:
> >53 -> 55 / __ 53/55/5
> >21 -> 22 / __ 21/22
> >(i.e., the 53 variant of yinping becomes the 55 variant when
> >preceded by 53, 55, or 5 yinru; 21 yangping becomes 22 yangqu
> >when preceded by 21 or 22--I know you can read the notation,
> >but I just wanted to apply the traditional names to the tone
> >contours)
>
> Based on your description, I would write it as follows:
> 53 -> 55 / 53/55/5 ___
> 21 -> 22 / 21/22 ___
> since you mentioned, "when preceded by".

Oops, my mistake there. I meant "followed by".


> It was interesting about the shortening of 先生 and 太太. We
> do this with 先生 in Mandarin as well (or should I say
> Taiwanese Mandarin as I'm not sure about it in Beijing), but
> not with 太太. Or perhaps it is because they are spoken so
> fast the two words blend together: xi-eng, which sounds more
> or less like the Taiwanese 生 s(i)eng--also used. In
> Taiwanese Hokkien (Minnan), 先生 is always pronounced in
> neutral tone after names.

I think this is the sort of thing that is rarely mentioned; in
Cantonese, the 生 of yi生 'physician' is sang rather than *saang,
and saan rather than *saang in X-生 'Mr. X', but I never saw a
mention of this until that 1997 Bauer and Benedict book--most
sources will give the citation saang.

If you don't mind less organized books, there is Chao Yuen-ren's
_Cantonese Primer_ published in 1947 (precursor to the more famous
_Mandarin Primer_ which is a re-write of the former) using his own idiosyncratic Guoyeu Romatzyh-inspired romanization system. He buries
quite a lot of detail in passing or in footnotes. Alas, even 1947 despite
being an era where the two sets of fricatives and affricates have merged
(no more "s/sh", "ch/ts", etc), there are still more changes to go in the
following decades, as you mentioned in a previous post.


> Because of Japanese influence in Taiwan, if a Taiwanese
> wanted to use the word 先生 for the meaning of teacher, they
> would pronounce it sensei instead--and this can be heard
> sometimes.

Do they also use that term for a physican?


Thomas Chan
tc31@cornell.edu

ichi

Re: Tone Sandhi

Postby ichi » Wed Jul 10, 2002 7:38 pm

James -- you're right. I really shouldn't try to answer anything more than basic questions about a language that I barely understand -- it's a good reminder that I should study more :)

baibai.

Sum Won

Re: Tone Sandhi

Postby Sum Won » Fri Jul 12, 2002 10:19 pm

Thomas:
If you take 先 and 生, and translate them literally (I probably shouldn't be doing this though) you'd get "First-born". This was usually used to refer to the Daoists (and maybe other "truth-seekers" of the sort), who generally lived longer (according to myth, which I suppose I shouldn't be using again, but maybe they did have a better healthier living style). Now, since these people lived longer, they tended to know more than the "youngens" who died earlier in life (as goes the saying, "with age, comes wisdom"). This was a term used for people who weren't necessarily scholars, but usually for such people who knew more than the general public. In fact, it was a sign of honor to be called 先生. Hence, when the Japanese borrowed 先生, they kinda' kept the whole "knowledge" thing, but used it in refernce to teachers (and doctors also).

Many Kanji used in Japanese retain the same meaning it had in ancient times, for example:
湯: Originally meant "hot water", but means "soup" to the Chinese now
鏑: Arrow (Or was it "Arrow-head", I forgot)

Sorry, I'd actually have more information available, but my local library is closed for renovations, and won't be opened for November. I just remember that this mention of 先生 was made in "Vermilion Bird: T'ang Images of the South" --A book a frequently refer to.

Helmut
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 3:53 pm

Re: Tone Sandhi

Postby Helmut » Fri Jul 12, 2002 10:52 pm

Can4 Saang1,

forgive me asking such a question, but are these two Cantonese tone sandhis for real ?

Concerning the 53->55 sandhi, well, I still failed to find anyone actually speaking 53 words and 55 words differently. They all sound 55 to me (with extremely few exceptions, e.g. the particle "tim1"). Could it be that 53 is history ?? And with it the tone sandhi ?

Concerning the 21->22 sandhi, if I understand it correctly, the word for Durian "lau4 lin4" should then be spoken "lau6 lin4". Or "maa4 faan4" should be pronounced "maa6 faan4". I just checked it on a native speaker with a clearly negative result. No such shift. I spoke it myself to the person. The shift was rejected as wrong. Did I get something wrong here ?

panoo
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:55 am

Re: Tone Sandhi

Postby panoo » Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:56 am

Dylan Sung's sent me a pattern chart for Hakka tone sandhi. Unfortunately for Mandarin sandhi people who are learning the language see things like Tone so-and-so with tone so-and-so changes to tone so-and-so however often the tone is not the same as one of the original tones, or at least not exactly although generally it doesn't make a difference.


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