Phhonological Variationtion

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From 1990 to 1999 - The Golden Age of Cantopop with emergence of other types of phonological variation Phonological variation was more obvious and common in this period and came in various forms as shown in Table 10. 80.5% of the songs in this period showed some sort of sound change. Considerable counts of phonological variation still happened at ∅- to ng- and n- to l-. Again, the substitution of n- to l- largely outnumbered the reciprocal substitution of l- to n-. The distinction between the dental africatives and palatal africatives, which was documented in the late 19th century and early 20th century on Cantonese, re-emerged in the Cantopop in the 90s. Such distinction still existed in the 30s as demonstrated in Meyer and Wempe’s (1935)…show more content…
Some speakers converted the dental affricatives to palatal affricatives when the subsequent vowel was a rounded high front vowel. This synchronized with the findings from the songs in the diachronic study which showed that all incidences of palatalizaation happened prior to to a rounded high front vowel like “u”, “yu”, “oi”, “oe”, “o” or “oei”. The only exceptions were 真 “zan1” and 知 “zi1” but these variants were created by the Singaporean singer Mavis Hee. It is also worth-noting that palatalization is particularly common for non-native Cantonese speakers who contributed 50% of all incidences and this can be attributed to the fact that the equivalent syllable in Mandarin often has with a palato-alveolar initial consonant as shown in Table…show more content…
Leon Lai moved from Beijing to Hong Kong at the age of four, while Faye Wong did at a later stage of age eighteen. Since their mother language is Beijing dialect, confusion between Hong Kong Cantonese and Beijing Mandarin is inevitable. Yet, their pronunciation of Hong Kong Cantonese is surprising accurate. Siu Hak, a Hong Kong lyricist who started to write songs for Cantopop since 2008, pointed out that Leon Lai was probably the only singer who could consistently pronounce 你 (you) with the correct form of “nei5” instead of the variant “lei5” by the majority of Hong Kong Chinese (Siu Hak, 31 March, 2015, personal communication). The reason behind this was probably because Leon Lai replaced the initial consonant with the Beijing Mandarin which is nǐ. Leon Lai is also the only singer who could utter the syllable 安 correctly as “on1” instead of “ngon1” although this only occurred once and hence we cannot conclude whether it was accidental or

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