Speech Prosody 2006

Dresden, Germany
May 2-5, 2006

Acoustic and Perceptual cues for Compound-Phrasal Contrasts in Vietnamese

Thu Nguyen, John Ingram

Linguistics program, University of Queensland, Australia

This paper reports two experiments that examined the acoustic and perceptual cues that Vietnamese use to distinguish between compounds and noun phrases. Fifteen minimal sets of the two patterns classified into three different word/phrase types (head noun-adjective modifier (hoa [flower] hng[pink]: pink flower), head noun-verb modifier (b[ox] cy[plough]: ox ploughing), and head noun-noun modifier (bn[table] gifiy[paper]: paper table) were recorded in two experimental conditions: one with a picture-naming task and one with a minimal pair sentence task by forty five Vietnamese native speakers of three dialects (Hanoi, Hue, and Saigon). In a perception task, the meaning of the patterns is identified in a forced choice test by fifteen listeners. The results showed that while there is evidence that Vietnamese use juncture (pausing) and pre-pausal lengthening to distinguish between compounds and phrases, no significant acoustic and perceptual evidence was found to support a claim for contrastive stress patterns between compounds and noun phrases in Vietnamese.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Nguyen, Thu / Ingram, John (2006): "Acoustic and perceptual cues for compound-phrasal contrasts in Vietnamese", In SP-2006, paper 034.