EUROSPEECH 2001 Scandinavia
7th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Aalborg, Denmark
September 3-7, 2001


The Role of Duration as a Correlate of Accent in Lekeitio Basque

Gorka Elordieta (1), Josť Ignacio Hualde (2)

(1) University of the Basque Country, Spain
(2) University of Illinois, USA

Northern Bizkaian Basque shares important prosodic features with Tokyo Japanese, including the existence of a lexical distinction between accented and unaccented content words, the presence of phrase-initial rises and the consistent realization of accents as tonal falls. In this paper we investigate whether NB Basque is also like Japanese in not making use of syllable duration as a correlate of accent, as has been suggested in recent work. The analysis of experimental data from 6 native speakers of the variety spoken in the Bizkaian town of Lekeitio confirms the hypothesis that the presence of an accent on a given syllable is not manifested in an increase of its duration in this language. Other things being equal, accented and unaccented syllables do not have significantly different durations in neutral declarative sentences. More tentatively, the same results are also established for two other sentential conditions: under narrow focus and in postfocus position.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Elordieta, Gorka / Hualde, Josť Ignacio (2001): "The role of duration as a correlate of accent in lekeitio basque", In EUROSPEECH-2001, 115-118.