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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Phrase Accents in Maltese: Distribution and Realisation

Alexandra Vella

University of Malta, Malta

The analysis of Maltese intonation presented in Vella (1995) identifies two "post-nuclear tunes", entities involving something similar in many respects to the phenomenon of "phrase accent" as redefined in Grice, Ladd and Arvaniti (2000). One of the aims of this paper is to re-interpret these two "post-nuclear tunes" following Grice et. al. as phrase accent and boundary tone sequences. Various structural contexts (e.g. contexts involving topicalisation resulting from changes in constituent order, the use of pronominal clitics, negation and the use of indefinite pronouns etc.) that give rise to the use of such post-nuclear tunes in Maltese are identified. The extent to which it is possible for a single, focused, prominence-lending constituent to be followed by more than one phrase accent and boundary tone sequence within the same intonation phrase is also explored briefly and some possible implications of multiple realisation of such sequences discussed.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Vella, Alexandra (2003): "Phrase accents in Maltese: distribution and realisation", In ICPhS-15, 1775-1778.