Speech Prosody 2006

Dresden, Germany
May 2-5, 2006

Dialect Alignment Signatures

Ailbhe Ní Chasaide, Martha Dalton

Phonetics and Speech Laboratory, School of Linguistic, Speech and Communication Sciences, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

This paper considers the hypothesis that dialects may have characteristic patterns in the alignment of the melodic contour with the segmental or syllabic tiers. Peak alignment was measured in initial prenuclear accented syllables for 3 dialects of Connaught Irish, Cois Fharraige, Inis-Oirr and Mayo. The size of the anacrusis varied as between two (PN2), one (PN1) and no (PN0) unstressed syllables before the accented one. Results support the hypothesis and indicate that the finetiming of peak alignment does differ systematically among the three dialects. In the first, Cois Fharraige, peaks remain fixed across anacrusis conditions, being aligned to the right edge of the accented syllable. The two other dialects reveal more variable peak timing: Inis Oirr is moderately variable showing a tendency for the peak to fall within the stressed vowel, but shifting rightwards to the syllable boundary when there is no anacrusis (PN0). The Mayo dialect is extremely variable across the prenuclear conditions. It is argued that such fine time alignment differences may be important to the differentiation of even closely related dialects.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Ní Chasaide, Ailbhe / Dalton, Martha (2006): "Dialect alignment signatures", In SP-2006, paper 263.