14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999


Contrastive vs. Non-Contrastive Duration in Relation to Temporal Patterns within the Paragraph

Zita McRobbie-Utasi

Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C., Canada

Languages with contrastive duration tend not to utilize duration for additional functions in the grammar. Accordingly, they behave differently with regard to boundary signalling than do languages with non-contrastive duration. The present study will explore this difference in relation to temporal patterns within the paragraph. It will be argued that there is an effort apparent on the part of the speaker to time paragraph constituents in a manner that evidences correlation of the temporal organization of these constituents, and also that such temporal strategies aimed at maintaining a target duration are realized differently in the two language types. Boundary signalling with durational increase co-occurs with a greater degree of variation in duration within the paragraph in languages with non-contrastive duration. In languages in which duration is contrastive little durational change could be noticed in boundary positions, and there is a lesser degree of durational variation.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  McRobbie-Utasi, Zita (1999): "Contrastive vs. non-contrastive duration in relation to temporal patterns within the paragraph", In ICPhS-14, 249-252.