Speech Prosody 2012

Shanghai, China
May 22-25, 2012

Phonetic Realization of Prosodic Focus in Persian

Mortaza Taheri Ardali (1), Yi Xu (2)

(1) Department of Linguistics, Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies, Tehran, Iran
(2) Department of Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences, University College London, UK

It has been repeatedly observed that focus substantially changes the sentence prosody in many languages not only by increasing F0, duration, and intensity on the focused components but also by compressing the pitch range and intensity of post-focus elements. However, it is not yet fully clear in Persian what the main effect of focus is on pre-focus, on-focus and post-focus elements. To achieve this goal, we have embarked on a full-scale investigation of the phonetic realization of prosodic focus in Persian. The findings of this study reveal that focus dramatically changes the three regions. F0 and duration has significantly increased in on-focus words without any significant change in intensity. Compared to their counterparts, pre-focus elements show weaker intensity but no change in duration and mean F0. Finally post-focus words show significant lowering of F0 and decrease of intensity. The duration of post-focus words remains intact. Thus, according to the present data, it can be concluded that Persian, like English and Mandarin, falls into the category of PFC (postfocus compression) languages.

Index Terms: on-focus, pre-focus, post-focus, F0, intensity, duration, post-focus compression, PFC, Persian

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Ardali, Mortaza Taheri / Xu, Yi (2012): "Phonetic realization of prosodic focus in Persian", In SP-2012, 326-329.