ITRW on Experimental Linguistics

Athens, Greece
August 28-30, 2006

Stress and Accent: Acoustic Correlates of Metrical Prominence in Catalan

Lluïsa Astruc (1), Pilar Prieto (2)

(1) Faculty of Education and Languages, The Open University, UK
(2) ICREA-Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain

This study examines the phonetic correlates of stress and accent in Catalan, analyzing syllable duration, spectral balance, vowel quality, and overall intensity in two stress [stressed, unstressed] and in two accent conditions [accented, unaccented]. Catalan reveals systematic phonetic differences between accent and stress, consistent with previous work on Dutch, English, and Spanish (Slujter & van Heuven 1996a, 1996b; Campbell & Beckman 1997, Ortega-Llebaría & Prieto 2006). Duration, spectral balance, and vowel quality are reliable acoustic correlates of stress, while accent is acoustically marked by overall intensity and pitch. Duration, at least in Catalan, is not a reliable indicator of accent since accentual lengthening was found only in speakers who produced some accents with a wider pitch range.


Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Astruc, Lluïsa / Prieto, Pilar (2006): "Stress and accent: acoustic correlates of metrical prominence in Catalan", In ExLing-2006, 73-76.