July 21, 2022

MA Thesis Defence - Bingqing Yu

Bingqing Yu will be defending her MA thesis:

The IF0 Effect in the Hong Kong Cantonese tone system

Thursday, August 4th, 9am via Zoom.

Please use this websurvey link to request the Zoom log in credentials by July 29th.


This study investigates intrinsic fundamental frequency (IF0) in Hong Kong Cantonese tones. Given the tension between exaggerating IF0 to enhance vowel contrasts and restraining IF0 to distinguish confusable tone pairs, the investigation 1) examines the relationship between IF0 and tone merging and 2) tests the mixed physiological-enhancement hypothesis (MPEH) that IF0 is physiologically determined, but adjusted to enhance perception of contrasts. When F0 measurements of vowels are fit to Generalized Additive Mixed Models (GAMM), the results suggest that the confusable tone pairs are at the beginning of a tone-merging process. The size of the IF0 effect varies as follows: T2 > T1/T5 > T3/T6, which supports MPEH to some extent. However, IF0 of T4 and individual speaker performance cannot be fully explained by MPEH. Future research is needed to elucidate the IF0 mechanism and the relationship between IF0 and tone merging.

Keywords: Hong Kong Cantonese; tone-merging; intrinsic F0; mixed physiological-enhancement hypothesis

Members of Examining Committee:

Chair: Maite Taboada
Supervisor: Murray Munro
Committee Member: Henny Yeung
(External) Examiner: Stephen Winters (University of Calgary)

LING community members – including family and friends of the candidate – are welcome to attend this defence. 

Videoconference connection information will be provided only to those who RSVP to the event by July 29th, (1 week prior to the defence date).  If you wish to attend this defence, RSVP via the websurvey link above.

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