An Acoustic Study on the Effect of the Interaction between Intonation and Lexical Tones on the Realization of Cantonese Sentence-final Particles

Rachel Ka Ying Tsui, Shelley Xiuli Tong


Hong Kong Cantonese provides a fascinating case to the study of prosody because of its rich inventory of sentence-final particles (SFPs) that carry two levels of prosodic information: an inherent lexical tone and intonation. The present study examined the effect of the interaction between tone and intonation on the production of SFPs among native Cantonese speakers. Acoustic analyses were carried out to measure and compare: (1) interrogative and declarative SFPs that have the same underlying lexical tone, and (2) SFPs with their homophones. Results showed that there is an interaction between intonation and lexical tones within SFPs, such that the intonation contrasting declarative and interrogative sentences has an impact on the realization of the underlying lexical tones of the SFPs. However, such interaction is mainly caused by global pitch raising, rather than local pitch raising, signaling the interrogative status of the sentence.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-9

Cite as: Tsui, R.K.Y., Tong, S.X. (2018) An Acoustic Study on the Effect of the Interaction between Intonation and Lexical Tones on the Realization of Cantonese Sentence-final Particles. Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018, 45-49, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-9.


@inproceedings{Tsui2018,
  author={Rachel Ka Ying Tsui and Shelley Xiuli Tong},
  title={An Acoustic Study on the Effect of the Interaction between Intonation and Lexical Tones on the Realization of Cantonese Sentence-final Particles},
  year=2018,
  booktitle={Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018},
  pages={45--49},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-9},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-9}
}