Speech Prosody 2006

Dresden, Germany
May 2-5, 2006

The Temporal Structure of Penta- and Hexasyllabic Words in Estonian

Pärtel Lippus, Karl Pajusalu, Pire Teras

Department of Estonian and Finno-Ugric Linguistics, University of Tartu, Estonia

This article concentrates on five- and six-syllable Estonian words consisting of two or more metric feet of the first quantity degree (Q1), comparing the temporal structures of the feet. After an introductory discussion of the problems related to secondary stressed feet, the article first of all deals with half-length of unstressed syllables in Q1 feet. This is followed by an analysis of durations and duration ratios of primary and secondary stressed Q1 feet of five- and six-syllable words. It appears that in these long words the temporal structure of Q1 feet is not similar. It differs from the structure of Q1 feet of shorter (di- to tetrasyllabic) words where there is a significant lengthening of the unstressed vowel (V2). The results show that in Estonian the whole structure of prosodic word determines the temporal structure of feet.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Lippus, Pärtel / Pajusalu, Karl / Teras, Pire (2006): "The temporal structure of penta- and hexasyllabic words in Estonian", In SP-2006, paper 103.