Publication details

Prosodic Units in the Chinese Language



Year of publication 2018
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description The paper we would like to outline basic descriptions of prosodic units adopted by linguists specializing in Standard Chinese all over the world. Generally speaking, there are several layers of prosodic structure of a sentence. These include the syllable, foot, prosodic word (PW), prosodic phrase (PPh) and intonational phrase (IPh) from the bottom up. During corpus analysis we have discovered the implementation of an eligible and a highly required new prosodic unit. This new unit occupies the position between PW and PPh. Provisionally we have decided to call it prosodic supraword or prosodic superword (PSw). Basically, PSw shows closer union between two (or exceptionally three) PWs. Its presence in a sentence is a sign of PWs behavior in the event of increased speech tempo. The existence of this new unit increases the variability of spoken sentence realization, strengthens the plasticity of sentence contents and thus it enables us, among others, to prosodically express different semantic meanings. Finally a text corpus containing 4 806 syllables has been collected and analyzed. We found out there is 1 598 PWs in total, 228 of them connected to a PSws. Thus PSws take up 13, 8 % of all PWs appeared in corpus. This paper will focus on detailed description of this analysis and description of PSws, especially on the number of syllables creating PSw and their combination in PSw, as well as the position of PSw in sentence.
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