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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Phonetics and Phonology of Lexical Stress in Polish Verbs

Dominika Oliver, Martine Grice

Saarland University, Germany

This paper explores the usage of antepenultimate and penultimate stress in 1st person plural past tense verb forms in Polish. Although Polish generally has penultimate stress, prescriptive grammars treat these verb forms as an exception, assigning antepenultimate stress. It has been argued elsewhere that penultimate stress is possible in these forms, although in colloquial speech. Data from 40 native speakers confirm that penultimate stress is used, but reveal that it is not restricted to colloquial speech: more than three quarters of speakers used penultimate stress when reading a literary text. Stress was auditorily transcribed by six independent judges. High inter-transcriber agreement was achieved when stress coincided with accent, the acoustic correlates of which were found to be F0 peak and syllable duration. A second experiment, using speech synthesis, revealed that the predominant stress pattern for reading was also the preferred pattern for speech synthesis, even on formal literary texts.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Oliver, Dominika / Grice, Martine (2003): "Phonetics and phonology of lexical stress in Polish verbs", In ICPhS-15, 2027-2030.