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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003


Tone and Intonation in Burmese

Justin Watkins

University of London, UK

This paper offers a first look at tone and intonation in Burmese. Using a speech sample of radio news broadcasts, pitch measurements were made of some 200 syllables. Even taking account of global pitch declination, statistical analysis suggests that tonal categories cannot be determined by the pitch characteristic of canonical pronunciations of the tones, unless the final phrase of each sentence, which has a distinctive low + rise pitch contour, is omitted. Furthermore, it is suggested that the pitch of final syllables of intonational phrases is determined its position in the syntactic structure of the sentence.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Watkins, Justin (2003): "Tone and intonation in Burmese", In ICPhS-15, 1289-1292.