San Duanmu

San Duanmu
University of Michigan | U-M · Department of Linguistics

Doctor of Philosophy

About

63
Publications
54,072
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1,601
Citations
Citations since 2016
13 Research Items
751 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120
Introduction
Skills and Expertise
Additional affiliations
September 1991 - present
University of Michigan
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Description
  • http://www-personal.umich.edu/~duanmu/

Publications

Publications (63)
Article
Chinese 1+1 NNs refer to compounds made of two monosyllabic nouns, such as shū-bāo ‘book-bag’ and jī-dàn ‘chicken-egg’. They occur frequently, do not violate any prosodic constraint, and appear to be highly productive. However, in Qin and Duanmu (2017), it was found that the mean acceptability ranking was quite low for randomly constructed 1+1 NNs....
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The “non-uniqueness” theory assumes that there is no best solution in phonemic analysis; rather, competing solutions can co-exist, each having its own advantages (Chao, Bulletin of the Institute of History and Philology 4: 363–398, 1934). The theory is based on the assumption that there is no common set of criteria to evaluate alternative solutions...
Article
Some seemingly robust linguistic generalizations remain controversial for years, often for lack of experimental verification. As a case study, we examine word length preferences in Chinese NN compounds. Since the original observation of , there has been a broad consensus that 1+2 (monosyllabic + disyllabic) is ill formed, while 2+1, 2+2 and 1+1 are...
Article
In Chinese VO (verb-object) phrases, 2+1 (disyllabic + monosyllabic) is ill formed when other length patterns are available, such as 2+1 zhongzhi suan vs. the well-formed 2+2 zhongzhi dasuan 'plant garlic'. However, 2+1 VO is acceptable when alternative length patterns are unavailable, such as jieyue shui 'save water' and xihuan qian 'love money'....
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Article
Phonemic analysis has been thought to be the 'greatest achievement' in phonology; in contrast, progress at other levels, such as the feature level below and the syllable level above, has been limited. We argue that not only are features and syllables important, but phonemic analysis is inadequate without reference to them. In other words, features...
Chapter
This study explores the upper bound of possible segments in the world's languages and the features that define it. I limit the discussion to vowels in two databases of phoneme inventories: UPSID and P-Base. Common problems in using such databases are considered and a method to avoid them is introduced, where the notion of contrast plays a central r...
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Proceedings of the Eighteenth Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society: Special Session on The Typology of Tone Languages (1992)
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Are there preferred word-length combinations in Chinese? If there are, are they motivated by semantics, syntax, prosody, or a combination of these? While the issue has been discussed for some time, opinions remain divided. This study offers a quantitative analysis of word-length patterns in Chinese [N N] and [V O] sequences, using the Lancaster Cor...
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This book grew out of a conference under a similar title that took place at CUNY in 2004. As the title suggests, the book focuses on two fundamental issues in phonology: the architecture of the phonological component and the representation of phonological objects. The book points out that the centrality of these issues has often been ignored since...
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Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Linguistics and Philosophy, 1990. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 197-207).
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When one looks at the world's languages, it is easy to get the impression that there is a wide range of syllable patterns. But an in-depth analysis of a selection of languages shows that the maximal syllable is CVX, where C, V, or X can be a complex sound. Extra consonants at word edges need not be part of the adjacent syllable but can be attribute...
Chapter
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A common goal of a phonologist is to describe the phonology of a language. The job would be easier if the boundaries of phonology are clear, but they are often not. I discuss some examples, especially what I call the spotty-data problem, which refers to the fact that we often do not have enough data to figure out certain rules or constraints in a l...
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In generative phonology, it has been commonly assumed since McCawley (1968) that a Japanese word has either one accent or no accent (the 'one-accent model'). Some problems for the model are discussed, both cross-linguistically and within Japanese itself. To solve the problems, I propose an alternative model, according to which a Japanese word has e...
Article
San Duanmu is professor of linguistics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He obtained his Ph.D. in linguistics from MIT in 1990 and spent a year as a postdoctoral fellow there before moving to Michigan. His research area is phonology, with a focus on phonological features, syllable structure, and metrical structure. He has published a book P...
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What is phonological variation? We use phonological variation to refer to alternative forms that can be used for more or less similar purposes. For example, in English a word made of CVCVCV can have stress on the first syllable, as in Canada, or on the second syllable, as in banana. There is no reason why the stress pattern could not have been the...
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The main question I explore in this paper is whether there is a general theory of the phonology-syntax interface that applies to all Chinese dialects. I first review three types of tone sandhi in Chinese, those in Mandarin, Xiamen, and Shanghai. Then I review the interaction between syntax and the domain of tone sandhi in these dialects. Next I dis...
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I introduce 1460 lines of Chinese regulated verse and offer an analysis of the data. I also compare Chinese with English and discuss two approaches to variability in linguistic patterns (such as regular vs. exceptional forms, or perfect verse lines vs. lines with metrical tension). I argue that, whereas word stress is often more important than phra...
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This is a rejoinder to F. Dell's review of the analysis of stress proposed in Duanmu (2000), see pp. 33-63 in this issue. In his book, Duanmu proposes that Standard Chinese has left-headed feet. In addition, in compounds and phrases, stress is assigned to the syntactic non-head. F. Dell raises a number of questions for Duanmu's analysis. In the pre...
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Linguists often classify languages into various types. In generative phonology , language typology is usually translated into parameters, such as the parameter for trochaic vs. iambic feet, or the parameter for syllable counting vs. mora counting. Focusing on the typology of tone and non-tone languages, I argue that the typological or parametric ap...
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Korean is thought to be unique in having three kinds of voiceless stops: aspirated /ph th kh/, tense /p* t* k*/, and lax /p t k/. The contrast between tense and lax stops raises two theoretical problems. First, to distinguish them either a new feature [tense] is needed, or the contrast in voicing (or aspiration) must be increased from two to three....
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In generative phonology, English verse has been analyzed in terms of a set of metrical rules that map a line to the rhythmic template of the verse. In this article I use the model to examine Chinese verse. This study has both practical and theoretical goals. On the practical side, I provide a description of 1460 lines of Chinese verse from the Tang...
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The paper proposes tht prosodic features (including word length) in Chinese play an important syntactic role such as inflection does in inflextional languages.
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English Abstract Onset clusters refer to consonant clusters, such as [pl] and [pr], and consonant-glide clusters, such as [kw] and [pj], that occur at the beginning of a syllable. Which clusters are used in a language is usually explained in terms of sonority scale. I argue instead that the occurring clusters are in fact complex single sounds. I fi...
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CINITIAL has the strongest effect on F0 among the four factors in cases of both pooled and individual data. Such an effect indicates that there is a strong correlation between the initial consonant type and tone: H following aspirated and tense consonants and LH following other consonants. Vowel has also an effect on F0 throughout the three tempora...
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SUMMARY A common conception of Chinese is that most of its words are monosyllabic historically but disyllabic in modern times. Since Chinese lost over 50% of its syllables in the past 1000 years, a standard explanation for the increase of disyllabic words is that they are created to avoid homonyms. I argue instead that, although disyllabic words ha...
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A well-known problem in Chinese phonology is that in some dialects most regular syllables keep their underlying tones, but in others the initial syllable determines the tonal pattern of a multisyllabic domain. Mandarin and Shanghai, two of the most studied dialects, best represent the contrast. Duanmu (1993) proposes that the two dialects differ in...
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An important assumption in Optimality Theory is parallelism, and a proper analysis of cyclic effects is crucial. I examine a typical case of cyclicity, namely, stress in Shanghai compounds, where the layers of embedding are in principle unlimited. I show that alignment constraints are inadequate. Instead, identity constraints are needed, in particu...
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This study argues that both Shanghai and Taiwanese have a metrical system, that compound stress is left-headed in Shanghai and right-headed in Taiwanese and that a tonal domain is a metrical domain. It predicts tonal domains better than previous studies and explains some asymmetries between Shanghai and Taiwanese. It also supports the view that met...
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This paper explores a correlation between phonology and phonetics. It first reviews a phonological analysis that proposes that all full Mandarin rhymes are heavy and that all Shanghai rhymes are underlyingly light. Then it reports a small phonetic experiment that attempts to determine whether there is a phonetic correlate for the phonological claim...
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Every regular Chinese syllable has a syllable tone (the tone we get when the syllable is read in isolation). In some Chinese languages, the tonal pattern of a multisyllabic expression is basically a concatenation of the syllable tones. In other Chinese languages, the tonal pattern of a multisyllabic expression is determined solely by the initial sy...
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underlying tones on monosyllables, and the derivation of tonal patterns in multisyllabic expressions. Our discussion is intended to make three points. First, autosegmental phonology can be successfully applied to Tibetan tone. Second, an autosegmental analysis is superior to a non-autosegmental approach. Third, an autosegmental analysis brings out...
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Some linguists have argued that Chinese (A N) (adjective-noun) and (N N) are compounds (e.g. Dai 1992, Duanmu 1998). Paul (2005) proposes instead that (A N) and (N N) can be phrases. The main argument is that (A N) and (N N) are visible to "anaphoric rules", as shown in (1).
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Duanmu (2000) noted that most conceivable syllables are missing in Mandarin Chinese and offered an analysis of the missing syllables with two constraints, which were thought to be universal. In this paper I offer a revised analysis in which two universal constraints are proposed, Rime Harmony and Merge, along with some language specific constraints...
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