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Érhuà 兒化 (Rhoticization)
(2,701 words)

The érhuà 兒化 process refers to sound changes, typically rhotacization, that occur in the root rime when the diminutive/hypocoristic ér affix is incorporated into a root syllable. Historically the diminutive/hypocoristic ér affix originates in the content morpheme ér 兒 'son, child' (Lǐ Sījìng 1986; Hsueh 1986; Li 1999). There are two major types of ér affixation across Chinese dialects: (i) the affix remains a separate syllable from the root; and (ii) the affix is incorporated into the root to produce a monosyllabic form, usually inducing phonologi…

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Yen-Hwei LIN, “Érhuà 兒化 (Rhoticization)”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 28 February 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_00000144>
First published online: 2015

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