1st Joint SIG-IL/Microsoft Workshop on Speech and Language Technologies for Iberian Languages

Porto Salvo, Portugal
September 3-4, 2009

A Phonological Study of Portuguese Language Variety Spoken in Beira Interior Region: Some Syntactic and Semantic Considerations [PhD Thesis]

Sara Candeias

Instituto de Telecomunicações, Polo de Coimbra, Portugal

This study proposes a model for a phonological description of the speech patterns attested in the Portuguese language variety spoken in Beira Interior region (in Fundão, particularly).
   Our goal was to present the main phone prototypes, which could be considered in the description of the Portuguese language, taking into account minority speech, particularly. Based in an analytic work, a spontaneous speech database was collected in order to establish the pertinent features set in the referred to variety. In accordance with the so-called Functionalist Theory, sounds are considered by the fact that speech is perceived (and produced) regarding those distinctive features terms, which are correlated with an optimal-center-of-gravity region. Therefore, our approach explored the view that Categorical Perception, as Quantal Theory and Optimality Theory could support phonological system and (allo)phone inventories.
   The collected database comprises 142.040 (allo)phone occurrences. The (allo)phone realizations are described and analysed according to the syllabic context as a finer-grained category. For that reason, phonological system description considered all structures of vocalic and consonantal phones, including allophone dispersion. Phones in contact in a speech chain scope were also taking into account, specifically in a V-to-V context.
   The proposed phonological system description is supported by a statistical analysis of the frequency in relative and absolute values. It is suggested that these phonological phenomena maps may have their correlation in the Verb and Personal Pronoun syntactic-semantic categories too.
   Our belief was that phonological and phonetic-based of Portuguese variety spoken in Beira Interior contributes ultimately to extend (or redefine) the linguistic knowledge of Portuguese language.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Candeias, Sara (2009): "A phonological study of portuguese language variety spoken in Beira interior region: some syntactic and semantic considerations [phd thesis]", In SLTECH-2009, 115-116.