D. Gibbon: Mandarin Syllable Models (2012-09-17)


These Directed Graph (DG) syllable models for Mandarin are induced automatically from a standard Pinyin table with 399 entries (some characters modified for processing purposes). The syllable list derived directly from the table is used as a reference. (Note that the Pinyin table defines syllables which are associated with characters and occur in the lexicon, not 'potential syllables'; the models follow this principle.)

In the workbench implementations listed below, a depth-first graph transversal algorithm was implemented in order to generate all syllables described by the model.

All models assume that 'vowel-initial' syllables beginn with a glottal stop. Motivations: empirically, in canonical isolated pronunciations a glottal stop is oberved; formally, this assumption also simplifies the description. Note that contracted syllables are not accounted for.

Four Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) Mandarin syllable models

  1. DAG model 1 of Pinyin table (grouped initials; non-deterministic; exact model: sound and complete)
  2. DAG model 2 of Pinyin table (grouped finals; deterministic; exact model: sound and complete)
  3. DAG model 3 with node inserted for onset glides (complete, but model overgeneralises slightly)
  4. DAG model 4 with nodes inserted for onset glides and coda nasals (complete, but model overgeneralises slightly; the most complex model)


Please be patient - calculations may take a little time.

And please use only the switch settings in the middle row:

(The top and bottom rows are for development purposes only and will not make sense to you...)
*Developed on Raspberry Pi using Python with Graphviz graphics processing and the Lighty web server.
D. Gibbon, Monday, September 17, 2012 3:08:24 PM CEST