12th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Florence, Italy
August 27-31. 2011

Phrases, Pitch and Perceived Prominence in Māori

Laura Thompson (1), Catherine I. Watson (1), Ray Harlow (2), Jeanette King (3), Margaret Maclagan (3), Helen Charters (1), Peter Keegan (1)

(1) University of Auckland, New Zealand
(2) Independent Researcher, New Zealand
(3) University of Canterbury, New Zealand

This study explores phrase-level prosody and prominence in the Māori language. Limited existing prosodic analysis and anecdotal evidence of diachronic change have motivated the present investigation into alignment of descriptions of intonation and stress with prominence perception test results and pitch analysis of speech data. In general, we find the expected case does occur most often, but examining results across speakers with birthdates spanning a century shows conservatism in modern elders and contradictory results in younger speakers: while making 'errors' in prominence placement, they are often as faithful to the overall expected contour as their elders.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Thompson, Laura / Watson, Catherine I. / Harlow, Ray / King, Jeanette / Maclagan, Margaret / Charters, Helen / Keegan, Peter (2011): "Phrases, pitch and perceived prominence in māori", In INTERSPEECH-2011, 1365-1368.