9th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Brisbane, Australia
September 22-26, 2008

A Seven-Tone Dialect in Southern China with Falling-Rising-Falling Contour: A Linguistic Acoustic Analysis

Xiaonong Zhu, Caicai Zhang

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, China

This paper aims to give a quantitative description of the linguistic acoustic properties, i.e., fundamental frequency and duration, of a seven-tone dialect in Qiyang County (QY hereafter), south of Hunan Province, China. There are seven surface contrasting tones in the QY dialect, a branch of Old Xiang group. No acoustic analysis has been done in the QY dialect so far. What this paper concentrates on is the falling-rising-falling (FRF hereafter) pitch in two of the seven tones, which has been reported nowhere else. Many parameters which have potential influence on the pitch contour are considered so as to specify the factors which contribute to the forming of this FRF contour. Although emphasis is placed on the analysis of citation tones of monosyllables, evidence from disyllables will be provided as well to support the pitch contour found in monosyllables. But a further perception test should be conducted to decide if the FRF contour is linguistically significant.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Zhu, Xiaonong / Zhang, Caicai (2008): "A seven-tone dialect in southern China with falling-rising-falling contour: a linguistic acoustic analysis", In INTERSPEECH-2008, 1113-1115.