10th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Brighton, United Kingdom
September 6-10, 2009

Sentence-Final Particles in Hong Kong Cantonese: Are They Tonal or Intonational?

Wing Li Wu

University College London, UK

Cantonese is rich in sentence-final particles (SFPs), morphemes serving to show various linguistic or attitudinal meanings. The acoustic manifestations of these SFPs are not yet clear. This paper presents detailed analyses of the fundamental frequency tracings, final F0, final velocity and duration of ten SFPs in Hong Kong Cantonese. The results show that most of these SFPs are very similar to the lexical tones in terms of the F0 measurements, but the durations are significantly different in half the cases. The notable differences may give some insight into the nature of this special class of words.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Wu, Wing Li (2009): "Sentence-final particles in hong kong Cantonese: are they tonal or intonational?", In INTERSPEECH-2009, 2291-2294.