The Accentual Phrase in Urdu/Hindi: A prosodic unit at the interplay between rhythm and intonation

Farhat Jabeen, Elisabeth Delais-Roussarie


In Urdu/Hindi, the intonation of a sentence consists of a sequence of rising F0 contours (LH). These LH contours are the default intonation pattern associated with a basic prosodic unit which is analyzed either as a foot (Moore1965) or as a phonological phrase (Patil et al., 08). Moore , however, reported that a tonal pattern with two F0 rises (LHLH) was observed in morphologically complex words and syntactic phrases, but he didn’t provide an analysis that predicts the occurrence of these double rises. The phonological status of these rising tones is not clear either. The current research addresses this issue and investigates the contexts in which the realization of double rises is observed. Using data from production experiments and speech corpus, we show that the LHLH pattern is not related to morphological complexity or morpheme type as these rises occur in monomorphemic words as well as in words with inflectional and derivational morphemes. We thus argue that the occurrence of these two rises is rhythmically constrainted. Tonal alignment confirms such an analysis in which the first L and the last H tones are regular AP boundary tones, whereas the additional H and L tones are inserted for rhythmic reasons.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-111

Cite as: Jabeen, F., Delais-Roussarie, E. (2020) The Accentual Phrase in Urdu/Hindi: A prosodic unit at the interplay between rhythm and intonation. Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020, 542-546, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-111.


@inproceedings{Jabeen2020,
  author={Farhat Jabeen and Elisabeth Delais-Roussarie},
  title={{The Accentual Phrase in Urdu/Hindi: A prosodic unit at the interplay between rhythm and intonation}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020},
  pages={542--546},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-111},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-111}
}