International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Languages
With Emphasis on Tone Languages

Beijing, China
March 28-31, 2004

Tone, Utterance Length and FO Scaling

Bruce Connell

York University, Toronto, Canada

One important strand of research into the scaling of fundamental frequency has been concerned with the hypothesis that utterance length is a determining factor of initial pitch height, with longer utterances involving a higher initial FO than that found in shorter utterances. Most work in this vein has been done on 'intonation' languages, with very little investigation having been carried out on tone languages, and the effect utterance length might have on the scaling of tones. This study investigates the relationship between utterance length and tone in Mambila. Previous work revealed that, for sentences comprised of all High tones, or of all Low tones, utterance length in Mambila had no effect on the scaling of either initial or final tones. Here utterances of alternating Hs and Ls are investigated. Results confirm those found earlier, that utterance does not determine the scaling of FO in Mambila. These results are discussed from the point of view of utterance planning and tonal specification.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Connell, Bruce (2004): "Tone, utterance length and FO scaling", In TAL-2004, 41-44.