Change and Variation in the Syllable -Initial and Syllable-Final Consonants in Hong Kong Cantonese
Eric Zee 徐云扬

Abstract 摘要
The paper is a study of the change and variation in the syllable-initial and syllable-final consonants in Hong Kong Cantonese since the 19th century. Historical records, recent sociolinguistic data, the speech of young adult speakers of present-day Hong Kong Cantonese, and experimental phonetic data show that (a) the syllable-initial stops, glides, lateral liquid, non-coronal fricatives, and bilabial nasal have been stable; (b) there were two series of syllable-initial coronal affricates and two series of syllable-initial coronal fricatives in Cantonese, and both series in each case have merged to become a single series; (c) articulatorily these syllable-initial sibilants are lamino-alveolar or lamino-denti-alveolar sounds; (d) the historical syllable-initial [n-] has unconditionally merged with [l-]; (e) the historical syllable-initial [-] has split into []-initial and zero-initial, and the historcal zero-initial has split into []-initial and zero-initial as well; and (f) both alveolarization and velarization have taken place in the syllable-final stops [-t, -k] and nasals [-n, -], and the prevailing direction of shift is from back to front, that is, alveolarization.

本文研究香港粤语自十九世纪以来,声母及韵尾辅音的历史变化与变异。根据历史纪录、最近社会语言学资料、说今日香港粤语之年青大学生的话语、及实验语音资料,显示:(1)粤语的塞音、介音、闪音、唇齿擦音、喉擦音、及双唇鼻音声母,在历史过程中是比较稳定的;(2)早期粤语中两类塞擦音声母及两类擦音声母,分别合并成一类塞擦音声母及一类擦音声母;(3)这一类的塞擦音及擦音声母都是舌叶/齿龈声母,或舌叶/齿- 齿龈声母;(4)早期齿龈鼻音声母 [n-]已在无条件下变成闪音声母 [1-];(5)早期舌根鼻音声母 [-]及零声母,分别同时分裂成舌根鼻音声母[-]及零声母两类; (6)早期塞音韵尾 [-t, -k] 与鼻音韵尾 [-n, -] 都分别齿龈化及舌根化,而主要变化的方向是由后向前,即齿龈化。

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Journal of Chinese Linguistics   volume 27 (ISSN 0091-3723)
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