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Incomplete Tone Merger as Evidence for Lexical Diffusion in Dalian 1 Te-hsin Liu



The presence of near mergers has long been a puzzle for linguists due to the notions such as contrast, categorization as well as the postulated symmetry between production and perception (Labov 1994). The present research aims to provide a case study of tonal near merger in Dalian, a less well-known Mandarin dialect spoken in Northeast China. Using a case study of tonal near merger as a jumping off point, this paper draws on insights from the hypothesis of lexical diffusion (Wang 1969) to illustrate that sound change could indeed take a long period of time to complete its course. 1

Year: 2013
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