Sixth International Conference on Spoken Language Processing
(ICSLP 2000)

Beijing, China
October 16-20, 2000

Tonal Structure of Yes-No Question Intonation in Chaha

Zhiqiang Li, Degif Petros Banksira

Department of Linguistics, MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA

This paper examines the tonal structure of yes-no questions in Chaha, using the autosegmental-metrical model of intonational phonology. Yes-no questions can be formed in two ways: lengthening the final syllable or attach the question suffix to the final word. They exhibit different F0 patterns at the end of the utterance. We propose that the same underlying tonal structure is realized differently in two types of yes-no questions. In addition to the initial F0 peak, which is present in both declaratives and questions, the bitonal pitch accent HL is associated with the penultimate syllable of the last word in yesno questions. The realization of the complex edge tone LH% is different. In the case of lengthening, only L of LH% is associated with the lengthened final syllable, and the floating H% triggers upstep of the preceding tone, leading to a mid-level F0 plateau on the final syllable. In the case of question suffix attachment, L and H of LH% are realized on the final syllable and the attached question suffix respectively, leading to a final rise.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Li, Zhiqiang / Banksira, Degif Petros (2000): "Tonal structure of yes-no question intonation in chaha", In ICSLP-2000, vol.2, 79-82.