Interaction between word accent and intonational boundaries in Latvian

Jose Ignacio Hualde, Tomas Riad


In Latvian, primary stressed long syllables of content words bear either a level or a falling pitch contour, due to a lexical tonal accent contrast. In this paper we examine the interaction between word accents and intonational boundary tones in Latvian. We assume that intonational contours result from the combination of word-level and utterance-level tones and consider how the word accents are realized in utterances with different pragmatic values, which are in part expressed by choice of boundary tone (L%, H%, HL%). The main result of our investigation is that the existence of a lexical tonal contrast in Latvian introduces some incompatibilities between accentual melodies and intonational boundary tones, which are resolved in different ways. Tentatively, we conclude that one resolution is to alter the tonal values of the word accents, in some instances leading to the positional neutralization of the contrast. Another strategy is assimilation between boundary tone and word accent. Which tone assimilates to which is left as an open question here.


 DOI: 10.21437/TAL.2018-6

Cite as: Hualde, J.I., Riad, T. (2018) Interaction between word accent and intonational boundaries in Latvian. Proc. TAL2018, Sixth International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Languages, 27-31, DOI: 10.21437/TAL.2018-6.


@inproceedings{Hualde2018,
  author={ Jose Ignacio Hualde and Tomas Riad},
  title={ Interaction between word accent and intonational boundaries in Latvian},
  year=2018,
  booktitle={Proc. TAL2018, Sixth International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Languages},
  pages={27--31},
  doi={10.21437/TAL.2018-6},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/TAL.2018-6}
}