Word accent and intonation in Baltic

José Hualde, Tomas Riad


We examine the realization of word accent contrasts in Standard Latvian and East Auk ̈staitian Lithuanian across intonational contexts. In our Latvian data the contrast is manifested as level vs. falling pitch in most contexts, in addition to a durational difference. In Auk ̈staitian Lithuanian, instead, differences in vowel quality and duration cue the lexical contrast in the nuclei that we examine. While Latvian retains a tonal contrast, in Auk ̈staitian Lithuanian it has been replaced with a combined segmental/quantitative contrast, where the so-called circumflex tone corresponds to relatively shorter duration and, in the case of diphthongs, centralized quality in the first half. We discuss the implications of these findings for further typological work.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-121

Cite as: Hualde, J., Riad, T. (2014) Word accent and intonation in Baltic. Proc. 7th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2014, 669-672, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-121.


@inproceedings{Hualde2014,
  author={José Hualde and Tomas Riad},
  title={{Word accent and intonation in Baltic}},
  year=2014,
  booktitle={Proc. 7th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2014},
  pages={669--672},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-121},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-121}
}