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

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

Segmental Anchoring of Tones as a Word-Boundary Correlate in English

D. Robert Ladd, Astrid Schepman

University of Edinburgh, UK

The hypothesis that the alignment of F0 minima forms a word boundary correlate in certain phonological contexts was tested experimentally. The effect of boundary location on the alignment of F0 minima between two F0 peaks was examined in word pairs which had either an ambiguous consonant (Jay Neeson vs Jane Eason) or an ambiguous syllable (Al Maloney vs Alma Lonie). It was found that there was a strong effect of boundary location when consonants were ambiguous, with early boundaries leading to early alignment. There was no effect of boundary location when syllables were ambiguous. This finding reinforces earlier findings that the beginnings of F0 rises are consistently aligned relative to the accented syllable. Furthermore, this lawful behaviour of interpeak valleys poses challenges for existing inventories of tonal targets, which propose that interpeak valleys merely reflect sagging transitions.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Ladd, D. Robert / Schepman, Astrid (1999): "Segmental anchoring of tones as a word-boundary correlate in English", In ICPhS-14, 1869-1872.