Acoustic correlates of secondary stress in Estonian

Eva Liina Asu, Pärtel Lippus


The present study aims to add to the growing body of recent work addressing the acoustic correlates of secondary stress. Here the focus is on Estonian, a quantity language where the primary stress is fixed on the first syllable of the word and the placement of secondary stresses is determined by morphological constraints but typically coincides with oddnumbered syllables. Words consisting of 5 and 6 CV syllables were analysed with respect to various acoustic measures relating to duration, pitch, and spectral characteristics. The results show that in Estonian secondary stress does not acoustically differ from unstress, calling into question the usefulness of the concept. This finding supports results for several other languages (e.g. Hungarian, Brazilian Portuguese) where phonological secondary stress has been postulated but is not realised phonetically. It also underlines the crucial role of the primary stressed foot in the prosodic system of Estonian.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-122

Cite as: Asu, E.L., Lippus, P. (2018) Acoustic correlates of secondary stress in Estonian. Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018, 602-606, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-122.


@inproceedings{Asu2018,
  author={Eva Liina Asu and Pärtel Lippus},
  title={Acoustic correlates of secondary stress in Estonian},
  year=2018,
  booktitle={Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018},
  pages={602--606},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-122},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-122}
}