Speech Prosody 2012

Shanghai, China
May 22-25, 2012

Significance of Duration in the Prosodic Analysis of Assamese

D. Govind (1), S. Mahanta (2), S. R. Mahadeva Prasanna (1)

(1) Department of Electronics & Electrical Engineering; (2) Department of Humanities and Social Sciences
Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, Assam, India

The objective of the present work is to demonstrate the significance of duration in the context of phonological Focus of Assamese. Focus refers to that part of sentence which expresses assertion, putting more emphasis on that part of the sentence which introduces new information. The present work considers subject object verb (SOV) type declarative sentences in wide, object and subject focus cases for the study. Speech data was collected from native Assamese speakers in all the three types of focus. Manual duration analysis was carried for all the speech data. It was observed that compared to wide focus, the duration reduces in the object and subject focus cases. Even though the overall duration reduction in object and subject focuses is nearly same, the amount of reduction is different for subject (S), object (O) and verb (V) parts. The duration modification of wide focus speech according to the duration modification factors of either object or subject focus confirms that duration indeed influences the realization of focus.

Index Terms: Focus, duration modification, SOV, wide focus, object focus and subject focus

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Govind, D. / Mahanta, S. / Prasanna, S. R. Mahadeva (2012): "Significance of duration in the prosodic analysis of Assamese", In SP-2012, 494-497.