Speech Prosody 2010

Chicago, IL, USA
May 10-14, 2010

A Phonetic and Phonological Analysis of Dual and Multiple Focuses in Standard Chinese

Yuan Jia, Aijun Li, Ziyu Xiong

Phonetics Lab, Institute of Linguistics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China

The present study investigates the acoustic manifestation and phonological nature of prominences induced by dual and multiple focuses in Standard Chinese (hereinafter SC). Results show that double focus exerted two prominences in the target sentence and these two prominences performed similar acoustic manifestations. However, under a multiple focus condition, only the rightmost focused constituent realized prominence in the sentence. Based on this evidence, this study proposed that the prominence pattern in SC have hierarchical levels, and this phenomenon can be accounted for by the distinction of nuclear accent and pre-nuclear accent as in English. Specifically, in SC, the nuclear prominence is characterized by obligatory and unique nature, while the pre-nuclear prominence is optional and secondary. There is no restriction on the appearance of nuclear prominence, while the appearance of pre-nuclear prominence is constrained by focus condition.

Index Terms: dual focus, multiple focus, nuclear prominence, pre-nuclear prominence.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Jia, Yuan / Li, Aijun / Xiong, Ziyu (2010): "A phonetic and phonological analysis of dual and multiple focuses in standard Chinese", In SP-2010, paper 052.