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Prosodics, Part 1 LIN 3201. Prosodics, or Suprasegmentals Remember, from our first discussions in class, that speech is really a continuous flow of initiation,

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Presentation on theme: "Prosodics, Part 1 LIN 3201. Prosodics, or Suprasegmentals Remember, from our first discussions in class, that speech is really a continuous flow of initiation,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Prosodics, Part 1 LIN 3201

2 Prosodics, or Suprasegmentals Remember, from our first discussions in class, that speech is really a continuous flow of initiation, phonation and articulation. What we have done so far in class is to divide this continuum into segments – speech sounds – by cutting this contiunuum into analzyable pieces.

3 It is now time to move away from the segments – and the relationship, or contrast, of one segment to another and discuss processes greater than the segments – the prosodics, or suprasegmentals.

4 Prosodics or Suprasegmentals are processes that affect units of speech larger than one segment (one speech sound). Suprasegmentals create the differences in “rhythm” across languages. Examples include: Intonation Tone Syllabification Stress

5 Suprasegmentals can be tricky… Some suprasegmentals are difficult to perceive or describe because they are so natural to us as native speakers; we often learn these first before we even learn the vowels and consonants of the language. Example: Intonation

6 Three Divisions of Prosodics Remember that the three components of speech are: 1.Initiation 2.Phonation 3.Articulation Prosodic features pertain to these components, as well.

7 1. Initatory Prosodics initiatory power those dealing with initiatory power Syllables – burst of initiatory power Stress – degree of energy of initiatory power

8 Suprasegmental #1 – The Syllable Linguistic domain of most suprasegmentals (tone, pitch) While native speakers can easily agree on the number of syllables in their language, linguists have had difficulty defining syllables Catford: syllable as pulse of initiatory activity or as “initiatory power peak”

9 The Syllable, cont. Syllables are composed of three parts:  Onset – consonantal beginning of the syllable  Nucleus – central and most important part of the syllable Carries the tone and stress Is what we sing, when singing Is usually a vowel, or consonant with vocalic qualities (approximant)  Coda – Consonantal end of the syllable  The Nucleus and Coda are referred to as the rhyme

10 The Syllable, cont. Different languages have different possible constraints and syllable shapes Some shapes: V, CV, CVV, CVC, CCV, CCCV, CVVV, etc. Some allow or forbid certain clusters, for example, in the coda or in the onset  English allows onset of [sC], Spanish does not Syllable constraints are language-specific

11 Suprasegmental #2 – Stress When pronouncing words with more than one syllable, you will find that one syllable is more prominent than the others. You may perceive this syllable as being longer, louder, or higher pitched than the other syllables. What actually creates the stress is the degree of initiatory power – energy from the lungs

12 Suprasegmental #2 – Stress, cont. Within words, the stressed syllable is marked with the suprascript line diacritic preceding the syllable with stress

13 Suprasegmental #2 – Stress, cont. In some languages, syllable stress is completely predictable Swahili – stress always penultimate syllable Czech – stress always first syllable In others, stress depends on lexical status of word (noun vs. verb, for example) or structure of syllable (syllable coda = consonant vs. coda=vowel)

14 Stress in English Courtesy of Dr. Caroline Withshire

15 2. Phonatory Prosodics voice quality & pitch those dealing with voice quality & pitch Tone – pitch variations on short segments Intonation – pitch variations on longer segments

16 Suprasegmental #3 – Tone Pitch variation on short segments, such as Phonemes, Morphemes & Syllables Pitch = frequency of vocal fold vibration  stretching vocal folds to make more tense  altering subglottal pressure, the pressure below the vocal folds; higher pressure=higher pitch

17 Tone, cont. Tone is usually phonemic – that is, it can be used to contrast word meanings – it serves the function of contrasting word A (with meaning A) with word B (with meaning B), even though the segments may be the same. Thai, Chinese, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Shona, Zulu and Luganda are tone languages.

18 Types of tone Tones may be level, meaning one pitch is maintained throughout the segment or syllable:  High  Mid  Low Tones may also be contours, which means pitch changes during production of the segment or syllable  Falling (high-low)  Rising (low-high)

19 Transcribing Tone Courtesy of Dr. Caroline Wiltshire

20 Pitch Accent Languages Language such as Japanese, Swedish, Serbo- Croation & Norwegian Differ amongst themselves in uses of pitch Use tone contrastively, but much more limited than tone languages  Tone is limited to certain syllables or words  Is limited to only high vs. low pitch distinctions

21 Pitch Accent Languages, cont. Swedish Swedish: two-tone distinction on group of words containing more than one syllable anden (falling)/(rising) - ‘duck’/ ‘spirit’ Japanese Japanese: point where pitch falls in a word kakika (high.low.low) – ‘oyster’ (high accent 1 st ) kakika (low.high.low) – ‘fence’ (high accent 2 nd ) kakika (low.high.high) – ‘persimmon’ (no accent – no fall)

22 Suprasegmental #4 – Intonation Whereas tone is pitch variation on smaller segments, intonation is pitch variation across larger segments of speech (phrases or sentences)  Falling (low pitch on last word) “It’s a new car!”  Rising (high pitch on last word) “It’s a new car?”

23 Intonation, cont. pragmatically functions Intonation is generally used pragmatically – that is, to tell how the utterance functions As a question As a statement Sarcasm Speaker attitude Emotions

24 3. Articulatory Prosodics articulation those dealing with articulation Length – duration of articulation

25 Suprasegmental #5 – Length The duration, or length, of the production of a vowel or consonant Some length: is natural to the production of the sound itself (open vowels longer than closed), to the environment (English vowels before voiced consonants longer than before voiceless) or used contrastively ([a] vs. [a:] or [t] vs. [t:])

26 Length, cont. Long Vowels [V:] or Geminates [C:] Courtesy of Dr. Caroline Wiltshire

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