Wu Dialect-Geographical Acoustic-Tonetics

This is a project to describe acoustically the geographical distribution of types of disyllabic tone sandhi across the Wu dialects of Zhejiang province using material recorded over the last 45 years. As with all the data on this webpage, you can look at the tonal acoustics at the same time as listening to them. The map below shows some of the sites for which recordings exist. Currently there is data from 109 speakers.

Map of Zhejiang Province showing about 2/3rds of the Wu dialect sites for which project recordings exist. Dashed red lines indicate Sub-group boundaries. Thinner lines indicate 'county' (县) boundaries. (Sub-)sub-groups and sites are colour-coded thus: Taihu-Linshao太湖-临绍, Taihu-Yongjiang 太湖-甬江; Taizhou 台州; Wuzhou 婺州; Oujiang 瓯江; Chuqu-Quzhou 处衢-衢州, Chuqu-Chuzhou 处衢-处州. Underlining indicates published data exists.

The Wu dialect data are from three main sources recorded in the last three decades of the last century:

(1) Tape-recordings made by Prof. Zhu Xiaonong and his assistant in the late 90’s as part his large-scale post-doctoral survey of Wu tones and tone sandhi funded by a large Fellowship Grant from the Australian  Research Council. Prof. Zhu recorded about 120 speakers from 80 sites.

(2) Tape-recordings  made in the mid 80's by Prof. William Ballard as part of his survey of tones and tone sandhi in southern Wu varieties, funded by the US National Endowment for Humanities. This collection contains recordings of 35 speakers from 35 sites.

(3) Tape-recordings made by my students and myself over about the last 45 years. They consist primarily of tape-recordings of older (i.e. 60++) speakers from the N.E. of the Zhejiang area around Ningbo. I made these during my doctoral research in the mid-70’s.

All three sets of recordings were primarily intended to elicit data for analyzing disyllabic Wu tone sandhi, as well as, of course, tones on monosyllables. Because of this, the same words are often found in all three sets. I record my gratitude to Profs. Ballard and Zhu for making their valuable recordings available for digitization and analysis.The data are also available upon request to anyone interested in further acoustic-phonetic research of the speech of this area (there is a treasure-trove of data for vowel acoustics, for example!).

Click here to open a map of Zhejiang which allows you to hear how the same words are pronouced in many of the different sites across the area. Currently, disyllabic words with reflexes of Middle Chinese yinping (Ia) tones on both constituent morphemes can be accessed. The geographical distribution of a subset of these can be found in my INTERSPEECH 2018 submission.

Click here to inspect and listen to the acoustics of 109 speakers from different Wu sites.

 

Wenzhou 温州 (甌江Oujiang subgroup)

Recording of a 34 year-old male (b. 1954) made by Prof. William Ballard in 1988. (This is green site 1 on the map)The informant was born in Ruian, a county to the south of Wenzhou, but moved to Wenzhou when 3 years old. You can look at the tonal acoustics at the same time as listening to them. The data have been analysed in several papers links for which you can find in the web-pages.

For his eight citation tones click here.

For his right-dominant disyllabic tone sandhi click here.

Wencheng 文成 (甌江Oujiang subgroup)

Recording of a 21 year-old male (b. 1967) made by Prof. William Ballard in 1988. (This is green site 4 on the map above) The informant was born in Wencheng and lived there until 19 years old. You can look at the tonal acoustics at the same time as listening to them. A paper is also available with a detailed analysis of the data.

For his seven citation tones click here.

For his right-dominant disyllabic tone sandhi, click here.

For a paper with a detailed analysis of the data, click here.

Maodian 毛店 (婺州 Wuzhou subgroup)

Recording of a 27 year-old male (b. 1961) made by Professor W.L. Ballard in August 1988 at Ehime university in Japan. (This is yellow site 6 on the map.) The informant was born in Maodian and lived there until 17. You can look at the tonal acoustics at the same time as listening to them.

For his nine citation tones, and comments on what is interesting about them, click here.

For his disyllabic tone sandhi, and comments on what is interesting about them, click here.

A paper is also available here with an analysis of some of the data.