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

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


The Contribution of schwa Vowels to the Prosodic Accent - Contrast in Australian English

Sallyanne Palethorpe (1), Mary E. Beckman (2), Janet Fletcher (3), Jonathan Harrington (1)

(1) Speech Hearing and Language Research Centre, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
(2) Department of Linguistics, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA
(3) Department of Linguistics, University of Melbourne, Australia

Previous studies of the supralaryngeal correlates of prosodic accentuation in English have shown both an increase in the paradigmatic contrast between phonetic segments and a magnification of the syntagmatic contrast between abutting consonants and vowels in accented words. We analysed tongue and lip movement data from four Australian English talkers in dialogues that elicited accented and deaccented productions of trochaic /bVb/ words. The results showed greater lip aperture magnitudes and peak velocities in the opening and closing gestures of the initial /bV/ syllables and in the opening gestures of the final weak /b«/ syllables. The distance of the rhythmically strong vowels to the centre of the vowel space was generally greater for accented words in both tongue position and formant spaces. The results suggest an enhanced syntagmatic contrast between vowels and consonants in both strong and weak syllables and a marginally greater paradigmatic contrast between the vowel targets in strong syllables.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Palethorpe, Sallyanne / Beckman, Mary E. / Fletcher, Janet / Harrington, Jonathan (1999): "The contribution of schwa vowels to the prosodic accent - contrast in australian English", In ICPhS-14, 695-698.