Variation and merger of the rising tones in Hong Kong Cantonese

Robert S. Bauer, Cheung Kwan-Hin, Cheung Pak-Man

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Two male speakers of Hong Kong Cantonese varied the endpoints of High Rising and Mid-Low Rising tones and merged them in both directions under experimental conditions. The variation and merger of the two rising tones raise the possibility that at least four tonal subsystems may coexist within the Hong Kong Cantonese speech community. Sociolinguistic research over the past 20 years has documented variation and change among Cantonese sound segments but not the tones. Tonal variation in Hong Kong Cantonese appears to be a potentially important sociolinguistic variable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-225
Number of pages15
JournalLanguage Variation and Change
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2003


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