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supra-2x2

supra-2x2

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SUPRASEGMENTAL PHONOLOGY
John Fry
San Jos\u00b4e State University
Linguistics 101: Introduction to Linguistics, Spring 2005, SJSU
Suprasegmental phonology
\u2022Traditional phonology deals insegments (phones)\u2014individual
speech sounds like vowels and consonants
\u2022Suprasegmentalphonology studies those aspects of speech
that extend over more than one segment
\u2013Stressis associated with syllables
\u2013Rhythm, tempo, and intonationare associated with phrases
and sentences
\u2022Suprasegmental features like stress, rhythm, tempo, and
intonation are sometimes referred to collectively asprosody
Linguistics 101: Introduction to Linguistics, Spring 2005, SJSU
1
Intonation
\u2022Intonationrefers to the contrastive use of pitch or melody in
speech
\u2022Di\ufb00erent levels of pitch (tones) are used in particular
sequences (contours) to express a wide range of meanings
\u2022For example, all languages seem to make use of the di\ufb00erence
between a falling and rising pitch pattern over utterances

\u2013They\u2019re waiting.
\u2013They\u2019re waiting?
\u2013They\u2019re waiting??!

Linguistics 101: Introduction to Linguistics, Spring 2005, SJSU
2
F0contour forJane, Pat, and John
F0is the physical basis of perceived pitch
Linguistics 101: Introduction to Linguistics, Spring 2005, SJSU
3
Intonation phrase
\u2022The part of a sentence over which a particular intonation
pattern extends is called anintonation phrase
\u2022The intonation phrase is a unit of information rather than a
syntactically de\ufb01ned unit, but it often overlaps with syntactic
units like phrases, clauses, or sentences
Linguistics 101: Introduction to Linguistics, Spring 2005, SJSU
4
Pitch declination
\u2022Most languages exhibit a general downward trend of pitch
(declination) over the course of an intonation phrase
\u2022The completion of a full grammatical unit such as a declarative
sentence is often signaled by a distinctive fall in pitch
\u2022Incomplete utterances, such as mid-sentence clause breaks
where the speaker intends to show there is more coming,
often exhibit a slight rise in pitch
Linguistics 101: Introduction to Linguistics, Spring 2005, SJSU
5
Bonny told Peter she\u2019d plans to leave(\u00d72)
Linguistics 101: Introduction to Linguistics, Spring 2005, SJSU
6
Some functions of intonation
1. Grammatical: distinguishing grammatical units and contrasts
They\u2019re waiting.vs. They\u2019re waiting?
2. Emotional: expressing surprise, boredom, friendliness, . . .
They\u2019re waiting??!
3. Information structure: new vs. old information
He likes the PINK onevs. He LIKES the pink one
4. Textual: identifying discourse units like paragraphs
IBM announced today that. . .
5. Social: identifying social groups and occupations
I went to, like, USC?
Linguistics 101: Introduction to Linguistics, Spring 2005, SJSU
7
Tone languages
\u2022Intone languages, such as Mandarin Chinese, it is possible to
change the meaning of a word simply by changing the pitch
level at which it is spoken
\u2022Distinctive pitch variations that a\ufb00ect the meaning of a word
are calledtones
\u2022Examples of tone languages include Zulu, Yoruba, Shona,
Mandarin, Cantonese, and Thai
\u2022In fact, a majority of the world\u2019s languages are tone languages
Linguistics 101: Introduction to Linguistics, Spring 2005, SJSU
8
Two types of tone language
1.Level tone languages specify a particular pitch level (say,
high or low) for each syllable
\u2022Shona (Zimbabwe) has a 2-way (high/low) distinction:
[k`
utS\u00b4er\u00b4a]\u2018to draw water\u2019, [k`
utS`er`a]\u2018to dig\u2019
\u2022Yoruba (Nigeria) has a 3-way distinction:[\u00b4o w`a] \u2018he existed\u2019,
[\u00b4o w\u00afa]\u2018he looked for\u2019, [\u00b4o w\u00b4a]\u2018he comes\u2019
2. InContour tone languages, pitch changeswithin the syllable
\u2022For example, Mandarin Chinese has four contour tones:
Tone
Example Meaning
1. level
m \u00afa
mother
2. rising
m \u00b4a
hemp
3. falling-rising m\u02c7a
horse
4. falling
m `a
scold
Linguistics 101: Introduction to Linguistics, Spring 2005, SJSU
9
Pitch-accent languages
\u2022Japanese, Swedish, Serbo-Croat, and certain other languages
are referred to aspitch-accent languages
\u2022Recall that in tone languages, every syllable is associated with
a particular tone
\u2022In a pitch-accent language, one particular syllable in a word is
pronounced with a special tone, or \u2018accent\u2019
\u2022Like tones, pitch accents are contrastive\u2014they can distinguish
di\ufb00erent words
\u2022Examples from Japanese:

[h`asi]\u2018chopsticks\u2019
[has`i]\u2018bridge\u2019
[hasi]\u2018edge\u2019

Linguistics 101: Introduction to Linguistics, Spring 2005, SJSU
10
Stress
\u2022Astressed syllable is pronounced with greater force than an
unstressed syllable, and is perceived as more prominent
\u2022Whereas tones are based on pitch, stress is based on energy
\u2022Languages in which stress contrasts are important include
English, German, Czech, Polish, and Swahili
\u2013Czech words nearly always have the stress on the \ufb01rst
syllable, irrespective of the number of syllables in the word
\u2013In Polish and Swahili, the stress is usually on the
penultimate (next to last) syllable
\u2013English stress patterns are much more complicated
Linguistics 101: Introduction to Linguistics, Spring 2005, SJSU
11

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