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An Element-geometry Approach to Depressors in Bantu & Chinese

Liu, Xiaoxi (2019) An Element-geometry Approach to Depressors in Bantu & Chinese. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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This thesis presents a multi-layered element-geometry approach to explain how different types of depressors are represented and the mechanism for depressor-tone interactions. Though there are already comprehensive discussions on consonant-tone interactions in the literature, systematic studies on depressor languages and analyses on depressors and tone interactions in a representational approach are still not fully investigated. In particular, depressor effects of Chinese Wu dialects have attracted much less attention than Bantu languages. The directionality of depressor-tone interactions in Chinese Wu is surprisingly interesting, which is rare in Bantu languages that have depressor effects. Therefore, this thesis aims to bridge this gap through a cross-linguistic study of five Bantu languages and some dialects of Chinese Wu, all of which show depressor effects. Depressor types, laryngeal settings, feature specifications of these depressors will be discussed. In addition, both constraint analysis of depressors and key previous consonant-tone models will be evaluated. It reveals that two issues remain either untouched or inadequately explained by previous analyses and is worth further exploring using element geometries: (1) How to explain the asymmetry between nasality and voicing? (2) How different types of depressors, especially marked depressors such as aspirated depressors are represented? A multi-layered element geometry is proposed aiming to respond to these issues.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
Depositing User: Xiaoxi Liu
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2020 09:46
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2020 09:46

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