Speech Prosody 2008

Campinas, Brazil
May 6-9, 2008

The Structure of Persian Intonation

Nima Sadat-Tehrani

Department of Linguistics, University of Manitoba, Canada

This paper is a detailed investigation of the phonology and phonetics of the intonation of Persian carried out in the framework of the AM theory of intonational phonology ([7], [5]). Based on 2112 utterances read by a total of 8 native speakers, the work, on the one hand, presents a phonological account of the prosodic structure of this language, a structure that consists of the level Accentual Phrase (AP) with the pitch accent (L+)H*, immediately dominated by the level Intonational Phrase (IP), each level being marked by a low or high right boundary tone. This system is less complicated than previous proposals which consider an additional level between IP and AP. On the other hand, this work scrutinizes the phonetic implementation of tones with regard to segments. It is shown that the L of an AP is aligned with the consonant preceding the stressed vowel, and the H with the consonant following this vowel in nuclear APs and with the next vowel in non-nuclear ones. Focused APs have more duration than non-focused ones, and non-nuclear APs show more pitch excursion than nuclear ones.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Sadat-Tehrani, Nima (2008): "The structure of Persian intonation", In SP-2008, 249-252.