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

Beijing, China
March 28-31, 2004

Tone and Timing: Two Problems and Two Methods for Prosodic Typology

Dafydd Gibbon

Universität Bielefeld, Germany

After an overview of some recent work on prosodic typology, both tonal and rhythmic, it is argued that both symbolic and numeric computational methods are required in order to advance the field by using large annotated resources and developing consistent, precise and evaluable models. Symbolic modelling is illustrated with reference to the lexical and grammatical tone systems of West African languages, and extensions to these are introduced in order to handle grammatical constraints on tone, affecting tonal templates and inflectional categories. A major motivating factor for the present discussion was tone generation for TTS system for Ibibio, a Lower Cross (Benue Congo) tone language spoken in South Eastern Nigeria. Numerical modelling is illustrated with reference to timing patterns, in particular rhythm, and a numerical method is introduced for inducing temporal hierarchies from annotated data, and for comparing these with syntactic hierarchies.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Gibbon, Dafydd (2004): "Tone and timing: two problems and two methods for prosodic typology", In TAL-2004, 65-72.