Focus marking and pitch register modification in Boro

Kalyan Das, Shakuntala Mahanta

This paper describes the prosodic aspect of prominence in Boro, a tone language belonging to the Tibeto-Burman family. The results here describe three production experiments investigating the phonological properties of Boro words occurring in contexts like wide focus, contrastive focus, corrective focus and narrow focus with emphatic particles. Boro lexically distinguishes High and Low tones and they follow the pattern of right alignment. The experiments discussed here involve words with both H and L specification. The target words were placed in carrier sentences to elicit the focus conditions mentioned above. Ten speakers of Boro were asked to produce scripted sentences containing the target words. F0 normalized pitch curves and durational values of the target words were extracted with the aid of Prosody Pro (Xu 2013) in Praat. The pitch contours of the Intonational Phrases (IP) suggest focus marking with emphatic particles results in an H* associated to the particle itself and the pitch-range of the whole IP is raised. Both contrastive focus and corrective focus are expressed by compressing the duration of the target words and by lowering the register of the whole IPs. The paper presents this evidence to show the discrete nature of pitch register modification in Boro.

DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2016-177

Cite as

Das, K., Mahanta, S. (2016) Focus marking and pitch register modification in Boro. Proc. Speech Prosody 2016, 864-868.

author={Kalyan Das and Shakuntala Mahanta},
title={Focus marking and pitch register modification in Boro},
booktitle={Speech Prosody 2016},