5th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Rhodes, Greece
September 22-25, 1997

A Descriptive Study of Prosodic Phenomena in Mpur (West Papuan Phylum)

Cecilia Ode

Irian Jaya Studies, Leiden University, The Netherlands

A descriptive study of prosody in Mpur (West Papuan Phylum), an unwritten tone language with perceptually five tone contrasts, is presented, using the stylization method (see 1.). Three issues, observed at prosodic boundaries, are analysed and compared to their occurrence in other positions: 1) realization of tone; 2) vowel lengthening; 3) expression of emotive emphasis by means of repeated words, tail-head constructions, clitics and particles (2 and 3 frequently occur in the oral tradition of peoples of New Guinea). Results show that 1) level tones exhibit clearly audible pitch movements (falling or rising) at prosodic boundaries, sometimes with vowel lengthening; 2) vowels may be lengthened up to more than five times their original duration; 3) words may be repeated up to ten times without any change in the realization of tone; in tail-head constructions a reset (a jump upwards or downwards in the course of F0) may be observed.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Ode, Cecilia (1997): "A descriptive study of prosodic phenomena in Mpur (west Papuan Phylum)", In EUROSPEECH-1997, 183-186.