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The syntax of Xiamen tone sandhi*

  • Arnold M. Zwicky, Ellen M. Kaisse and Matthew Y. Chen (a1)

This collection of thematically related papers in the current issue of the Phonology Yearbook, coming in the wake of recent major works like Selkirk (1984a) and Kaisse (1985), betokens a growing interest in the interfacing problem of syntax and phonology. So far, the most intensively investigated problems such as English contraction and auxiliary reduction fall in the intermediate area of morphosyntax, in the sense that they typically involve the adjunction of clitic-like elements to a neighbouring constituent with certain phonological consequences. The truly phrasal level of postlexical phonology is rather more sparsely populated by well-documented case studies. Chapter 7 of Kaisse (1985) reviews some of the better-known cases, including French liaison, Ewe tone sandhi, Italian raddoppiamento sintattico (initial consonant gemination), and Kimatuumbi vowel shortening (see references cited therein). To this list we may add the highly suggestive case of Chi Mwi:ni vowel shortening (see Kisseberth & Abasheikh 1974; and the insightful reanalysis in Selkirk 1986).

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