Focus and its prosody in Akan and Ga

Susanne Genzel, Agata Renans, Frank Kügler

The paper investigates the effect of object-focus on the prosodic realization of morpho-syntactically unmarked simple sentences in the tone languages Akan and Gã (Kwa). We present data stemming from our original fieldwork. We compare broad focus realizations exhibiting an alternating tonal structure to either narrow contrastive focus (Akan) or narrow informational focus (Gã) on the subject and the object. The results show that in-situ focus in both languages is not marked by a specific categorical prosodic device. While Akan shows a tendency to lower the intensity of the post-focal part, Gã speakers have the option to slightly raise the F0 of a focused object. The findings are discussed with regards to focus-prominence as well as the Nostratic origin hypothesis of post-focal compression.

 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-147

Cite as: Genzel, S., Renans, A., Kügler, F. (2018) Focus and its prosody in Akan and Ga. Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018, 724-728, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-147.

  author={Susanne Genzel and Agata Renans and Frank Kügler},
  title={Focus and its prosody in Akan and Ga},
  booktitle={Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018},