14thAnnual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Lyon, France
August 25-29, 2013

Presentational Focus Realisation in Nalbaria Variety of Assamese

Shakuntala Mahanta, A. I. Twaha

IIT Guwahati, India

Intonation and prosodic structures, apart from other functions, play a significant role in conveying the focus in an utterance. The term efocus' is applied to a constituent which is informationally more important or salient than other backgrounded parts of the same sentence, and in a sentence the part that receives presentational focus which answers a wh-question. In this paper, we will try to establish that Narbaria Variety of Assamese (NVA), which is a variety of Standard Colloquial Assamese (SCA), an Indo-Aryan language, employs phrasing as a marker of presentational focus. In marking the focus of the focused constituent, duration plays a significant role; it is not the durational increase of the focused P-phrase only which is significant but the decrease of duration in the given constituent is equally decisive. The present work considers sentences with presentational focus on Subject and on Object in two different word orders i.e. SOV (Subject-Object-Verb) and OSV (Object-Subject-Verb). Different phonetic cues of focus or prominence like F0-max, F0-min, F0-range and duration values are measured and compared against respective wide-focus baseline.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Mahanta, Shakuntala / Twaha, A. I. (2013): "Presentational focus realisation in nalbaria variety of assamese", In INTERSPEECH-2013, 296-299.