A phonological and phonetic description of Singapore Hokkien.
Hong, Amelia Yu Qing.
Date of Issue2012
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
This study makes a preliminary analysis of the phonological system of the Singapore variety of Min, also known as Singapore Hokkien (SH). This analysis of SH posits that SH has a (C1) (G1) V (G2) (C2) T structure due to the existence of rising diphthongs, falling diphthongs and triphthongs in the data. SH therefore has an unusually large vowel inventory. One male and two female consultants participated in this study, which had a 270-word list making up the bulk of the data. After data analysis and cross-referencing from relevant texts, the language was found to have eight monophthongs, nine diphthongs and two triphthongs in its vowel inventory. Another 18 consonant phonemes round up the phoneme inventory. Acoustic analysis of the vowels shows a vowel space that has /i/, /u/ and /a/ making up its furthest points. This was fairly consistent for the three speakers. SH has six tones--/55/, /51/ /33/, /31/, /24/ and /11/. Tonal analysis shows that a few of the six tones seem to be converging on one another—the /11/, /31/ and /31/ tones in particular created confusion in the perception test that was administered in this study.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University