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Prosodic Phrasing in Tonal and Non-tonal Dialects of Kammu
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH, Speech Communication and Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4628-3769
2007 (English)In: Proceedings of the 16th International congress of phonetic sciences, 2007, 1309-1312 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Kammu, a Mon-Khmer language spoken in Northern Laos, is a language that has developed lexical tones rather recently, from the point of view of language history. One of the main dialects of this language is a tone language with high or low tone on each syllable, while the other main dialect lacks lexical tones. The dialects differ only marginally in other respects. This type of language material allows us to investigate how the existence of lexical tones in a language influences the use of intonation, especially as a signal for focus and phrasing. We performed an introductory study of tonal means of phrasing in the tonal and non-tonal dialects of Kammu. As expected, we do find differences in boundary signaling. In both dialects, we found differences between (pragmatically) marked and unmarked boundaries. At marked phrase boundaries we find signaling of focus and of some expressive meanings. The difference between the two dialects is in the functional load of the intonational gestures. Thus, pragmatically marked boundaries are assigned high pitch in the tonal dialect, while in the non-tonal dialect it is a pitch fall that has high pragmatic load.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. 1309-1312 p.
National Category
Computer Science Language Technology (Computational Linguistics)
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-51961OAI: diva2:465251
the 16th International congress of phonetic sciences, Saarbrücken, 2007
tmh_import_11_12_14 QC 20111216Available from: 2011-12-14 Created: 2011-12-14 Last updated: 2011-12-16Bibliographically approved

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