10th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Brighton, United Kingdom
September 6-10, 2009

The Phrase-Final Accent in Kammu: Effects of Tone, Focus and Engagement

David House (1), Anastasia Karlsson (2), Jan-Olof Svantesson (2), Damrong Tayanin (2)

(1) KTH, Sweden
(2) Lund University, Sweden

The phrase-final accent can typically contain a multitude of simultaneous prosodic signals. In this study, aimed at separating the effects of lexical tone from phrase-final intonation, phrase-final accents of two dialects of Kammu were analyzed. Kammu, a Mon- Khmer language spoken primarily in northern Laos, has dialects with lexical tones and dialects with no lexical tones. Both dialects seem to engage the phrase-final accent to simultaneously convey focus, phrase finality, utterance finality, and speaker engagement. Both dialects also show clear evidence of truncation phenomena. These results have implications for our understanding of the interaction between tone, intonation and phrase-finality.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  House, David / Karlsson, Anastasia / Svantesson, Jan-Olof / Tayanin, Damrong (2009): "The phrase-final accent in kammu: effects of tone, focus and engagement", In INTERSPEECH-2009, 2439-2442.