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

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

Post-Stressed Syllables in Brazilian Portuguese as Markers

Sandra Madureira (1), Plínio A. Barbosa (2), Mario Fontes (1), Karla Crispim (1), Daniela Spina (1)

(1) Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo, Brazil
(2) Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Brazil

This study investigates word fundamental frequency contours by examining three-syllable oxytons (stress on the last syllable in the word), paroxytons (stress on the penultimate syllable in the word) and proparoxytons (stress on the antepenultimate syllable in the word) inserted in sentences read by adult male speakers. Analysis of the data revealed that F0 increases (peak displacement) or levels off in post-stressed syllables corroborating the hypothesis that unstressed syllables function as succession markers (in duration contours) as well as durative markers (F0 contours) in defining prominence at phrasal level. Word fundamental frequency contours of pairs contrasting by means of stress placement were found to be systematically differentiated. The results are interesting from the point of view of setting up patterns to reconstruct word fundamental frequency contours based on a phonetically-oriented hierarchical model of intonation for the purpose of synthesis.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Madureira, Sandra / Barbosa, Plínio A. / Fontes, Mario / Crispim, Karla / Spina, Daniela (1999): "Post-stressed syllables in Brazilian Portuguese as markers", In ICPhS-14, 917-920.