15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Initial Pitch in Words Beginning with a CVV Syllable with a Long Vowel in Tokyo Japanese

Takeki Kamiyama

Laboratoire de Phonétique et Phonologie-CNRS, France

The study investigates fundamental frequency (F0) differences in the two first morae in Tokyo Japanese words beginning with a heavy syllable containing a long vowel. The two morae that constitute the syllable in question are usually considered to be both high in traditional descriptions. However, it is not well known how other factors, such as the initial onset consonant, or the presence of accent kernel later in the word, influence the melodic pattern. Analyses of a corpus composed of 22 four-mora words and phrases (CVCVCVCV and CVVCVCV) read by four speakers indicate that 1) F0 range is smaller in CVV than in CVCV syllables; 2) in CVV, maximum F0 is higher in accented words than in unaccented words, but the difference in F0 range is not statistically significant; 3) in CVV, minimum F0 is lower, and the range is larger when the initial consonant is voiced than otherwise.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Kamiyama, Takeki (2003): "Initial pitch in words beginning with a CVV syllable with a long vowel in Tokyo Japanese", In ICPhS-15, 543-546.