Intonational phrase marking in Southern Vietnamese

Marc Brunelle

´╗┐Earlier studies of Vietnamese prosody, which, to a single exception, looked at the Northern dialect, portray a language in which intonation is weak, variable and idiosyncratic. The intonational targets typically proposed in autosegmentalmetrical models (boundary tones, pitch-accents) have remained elusive. This may very well be due to the fact that almost all previous experimental work was conducted on relatively unnatural read speech; in fact, research conducted on natural conversations has revealed that intonation may surface in peripheral areas of grammar where lexical tone plays a low functional role, like backchannels and repair utterances. In this short paper, an eight-hour corpus of Southern Vietnamese spontaneous speech is used as a basis for investigation. I first show that, just as in Northern Vietnamese, there is little evidence for strongly phonologized boundary tones in Southern Vietnamese. I then put forward evidence that although an effect of intonation is seen in discursive monosyllabic utterances, this effect seems more optional and less categorical than in Northern Vietnamese.

DOI: 10.21437/TAL.2016-13

Cite as

Brunelle, M. (2016) Intonational phrase marking in Southern Vietnamese. Proc. Tonal Aspects of Languages 2016, 60-64.

author={Marc Brunelle},
title={Intonational phrase marking in Southern Vietnamese},
booktitle={Tonal Aspects of Languages 2016},