Intonational Phonology of Malagasy: Pitch Accents Demarcate Syntactic Constituents

Jake Aziz


This paper is part of an ongoing project on the intonational phonology of Malagasy under the Autosegmental-Metrical framework. It presents a preliminary model for Malagasy simple declaratives, focusing on the role of pitch accents and their realizations. Six native speakers of Malagasy from the Central Highlands of Madagascar produced declaratives that varied in their syntax and the length of the predicate and the subject. The results indicate that there are two prosodic units in Malagasy declaratives that are marked with intonation: the Intonational Phrase, marked at its right edge with a boundary tone (L%), and the Intermediate Phrase (ip), which corresponds to a major syntactic constituent such as the predicate or the subject noun phrase. The rightmost stressed syllable of each ip, regardless of its length, bears a rising pitch accent, demarcating the right edge of a syntactic constituent. However, a sentence-final stressed syllable, though bearing a rising tonal shape similar to that of the other ip-final pitch accents, is often realized with very weak amplitude, questioning its phonological status. The results of this study will contribute to a full model of Malagasy intonation in the AM framework.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-41

Cite as: Aziz, J. (2020) Intonational Phonology of Malagasy: Pitch Accents Demarcate Syntactic Constituents. Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020, 201-204, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-41.


@inproceedings{Aziz2020,
  author={Jake Aziz},
  title={{Intonational Phonology of Malagasy: Pitch Accents Demarcate Syntactic Constituents}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020},
  pages={201--204},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-41},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-41}
}