Production and perception of lexical tone in Deori

Prarthana Acharyya, Shakuntala Mahanta


Deori, a Tibeto-Burman language (henceforth TB) belonging to the Bodo- Koch language group [10] can be unambiguously called an endangered language [2]. This paper analyzes the production and perception of lexical tones in Deori. Most recently, some remnant lexical tonal contrast has been shown in Deori with acoustic evidence [11]. Following the minimal tonal contrast prevalent among the older generation [11] a production experiment was conducted to determine the tonal distinction in the speech of the younger generation. The production experiment was followed by a perception test to investigate the impact of language experience on the perception of lexical tones in Deori. The result of production test shows a trend of underlying tone reversal H>L; L>H in monosyllables and a considerable F0 variation in the disyllabic stems. The tone reversal can be described as tone swap where a high tone has a low fundamental frequency and vice-versa. The perception test result too shows a similar trend of tone reversal in monosyllables as the listeners tend to misidentify tones mainly the younger generation speakers. Our result indicates that social factors such as language experience play a role in the categorization of tones in Deori. Index Terms: tone, production, perception, tone swap.


 DOI: 10.21437/TAL.2018-19

Cite as: Acharyya, P., Mahanta, S. (2018) Production and perception of lexical tone in Deori. Proc. TAL2018, Sixth International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Languages, 93-97, DOI: 10.21437/TAL.2018-19.


@inproceedings{Acharyya2018,
  author={ Prarthana Acharyya and Shakuntala Mahanta},
  title={ Production and perception of lexical tone in Deori},
  year=2018,
  booktitle={Proc. TAL2018, Sixth International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Languages},
  pages={93--97},
  doi={10.21437/TAL.2018-19},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/TAL.2018-19}
}