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Aspects of the prosody of Kuot, a language where intonation ignores stress
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5810-2507
2005 (English)In: Linguistics, ISSN 0024-3949, Vol. 43, no 4, 839-870 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article describes the basic system of intonation and lexical stress in Kuot, a non-Austronesian language of New Ireland, Papua New Guinea. Kuot employs pitch (F0 variation) primarily to express structural information about the clause. Some intonation contours express functions that are commonly expressed by intonation crosslinguistically, such as final vs. nonfinal clauses and parts of clauses, and yes/no questions. In addition, Kuot has particular contours (or tunes) for question-word questions and negated sentences. Word stress, on the other hand, does not interact with intonation in terms of its encoding. It displays a very stable correlation with duration but no association with F0; in other words, there is no consistent marking of stress by means of F0 in Kuot. The position of Kuot word stress is lexically determined, yielding minimal stress pairs.

In this article, we present a description of Kuot intonation on the basis of pitch extractions made from spontaneous speech. The results reveal that intonation in Kuot is anchored only at the boundaries of intonational phrases. A phonetic analysis of minimal stress pairs recorded in controlled environments demonstrates that lexically stressed syllables do not correlate with pitch.

The findings are discussed against a background of prosodic typology.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 43, no 4, 839-870 p.
Keyword [en]
Intonation, pitch accent, stress, Kuot, Papuan languages
National Category
Specific Languages General Language Studies and Linguistics General Language Studies and Linguistics
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-19227OAI: diva2:185751
Available from: 2007-10-23 Created: 2007-10-23 Last updated: 2014-04-11

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