Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 5

Search results for: Intonation

5 The Phonology and Phonetics of Second Language Intonation in Case of “Downstep”

Authors: Tayebeh Norouzi

Abstract:

This study aims to investigate the acquisition process of intonation. It examines the intonation structure of Tokyo Japanese and its realization by Iranian learners of Japanese. Seven Iranian learners of Japanese, differing in fluency, and two Japanese speakers participated in the experiment. Two sentences were used to test the phonological and phonetic characteristics of lexical pitch-accent as well as the intonation patterns produced by the speakers. Both sentences consisted of similar words with the same number of syllables and lexical pitch-accents but different syntactic structure. Speakers were asked to read each sentence three times at normal speed, and the data were analyzed by Praat. The results show that lexical pitch-accent, Accentual Phrase (AP) and AP boundary tone realization vary depending on sentence type. For sentences of type XdeYwo, the lexical pitch-accent is realized properly. However, there is a rise in AP boundary tone regardless of speakers’ level of fluency. In contrast, in sentences of type XnoYwo, the lexical pitch-accent and AP boundary tone vary depending on the speakers’ fluency level. Advanced speakers are better at grouping words into phrases and produce more native-like intonation patterns, though they are not able to realize downstep properly. The non-native speakers tried to realize proper intonation patterns by making changes in lexical accent and boundary tone.

Keywords: Intonation, Iranian learners, Japanese prosody, lexical accent, second language acquisition.

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4 The Intonation of Romanian Greetings: A Sociolinguistics Approach

Authors: Anca-Diana Bibiri, Mihaela Mocanu, Adrian Turculeț

Abstract:

In a language the inventory of greetings is dynamic with frequent input and output, although this is hardly noticed by the speakers. In this register, there are a number of constant, conservative elements that survive different language models (among them, the classic formulae: bună ziua! (good afternoon!), bună seara! (good evening!), noapte bună! (good night!), la revedere! (goodbye!) and a number of items that fail to pass the test of time, according to language use at a time (ciao!, pa!, bai!). The source of innovation depends both of internal factors (contraction, conversion, combination of classic formulae of greetings), and of external ones (borrowings and calques). Their use imposes their frequencies at once, namely the elimination of the use of others. This paper presents a sociolinguistic approach of contemporary Romanian greetings, based on prosodic surveys in two research projects: AMPRom, and SoRoEs. Romanian language presents a rich inventory of questions (especially partial interrogatives questions/WH-Q) which are used as greetings, alone or, more commonly accompanying a proper greeting. The representative of the typical formulae is Ce mai faci? (How are you?), which, unlike its English counterpart How do you do?, has not become a stereotype, but retains an obvious emotional impact, while serving as a mark of sociolinguistic group. The analyzed corpus consists of structures containing greetings recorded in the main Romanian cultural (urban) centers. From the methodological point of view, the acoustic analysis of the recorded data is performed using software tools (GoldWave, Praat), identifying intonation patterns related to three sociolinguistics variables: age, sex and level of education. The intonation patterns of the analyzed statements are at the interface between partial questions and typical greetings.

Keywords: acoustic analysis, greetings, Romanian language, sociolinguistics

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3 The Main Principles of Text-to-Speech Synthesis System

Authors: K.R. Aida–Zade, C. Ardil, A.M. Sharifova

Abstract:

In this paper, the main principles of text-to-speech synthesis system are presented. Associated problems which arise when developing speech synthesis system are described. Used approaches and their application in the speech synthesis systems for Azerbaijani language are shown.

Keywords: synthesis of Azerbaijani language, morphemes, phonemes, sounds, sentence, speech synthesizer, intonation, accent, pronunciation.

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2 A Cross-Gender Statistical Analysis of Tuvinian Intonation Features in Comparison With Uzbek and Azerbaijani

Authors: D. Beziakina, E. Bulgakova

Abstract:

The paper deals with cross-gender and cross-linguistic comparison of pitch characteristics for Tuvinian with two other Turkic languages - Uzbek and Azerbaijani, based on the results of statistical analysis of pitch parameter values and intonation patterns used by male and female speakers.

The main goal of our work is to obtain the ranges of pitch parameter values typical for Tuvinian speakers for the purpose of automatic language identification. We also propose a cross-gender analysis of declarative intonation in the poorly studied Tuvinian language.

The ranges of pitch parameter values were obtained by means of specially developed software that deals with the distribution of pitch values and allows us to obtain statistical language-specific pitch intervals.

Keywords: Speech analysis, Statistical analysis, Speaker recognition, Identification of person.

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1 Linguistic Competence Analysis and the Development of Speaking Instructional Material

Authors: Felipa M. Rico

Abstract:

Linguistic oral competence plays a vital role in attaining effective communication. Since the English language is considered as universally used language and has a high demand skill needed in the work-place, mastery is the expected output from learners. To achieve this, learners should be given integrated differentiated tasks which help them develop and strengthen the expected skills. This study aimed to develop speaking instructional supplementary material to enhance the English linguistic competence of Grade 9 students in areas of pronunciation, intonation and stress, voice projection, diction and fluency. A descriptive analysis was utilized to analyze the speaking level of performance of the students in order to employ appropriate strategies. There were two sets of respondents: 178 Grade 9 students selected through a stratified sampling and chosen at random. The other set comprised English teachers who evaluated the usefulness of the devised teaching materials. A teacher conducted a speaking test and activities were employed to analyze the speaking needs of students. Observation and recordings were also used to evaluate the students’ performance. The findings revealed that the English pronunciation of the students was slightly unclear at times, but generally fair. There were lapses but generally they rated moderate in intonation and stress, because of other language interference. In terms of voice projection, students have erratic high volume pitch. For diction, the students’ ability to produce comprehensible language is limited, and as to fluency, the choice of vocabulary and use of structure were severely limited. Based on the students’ speaking needs analyses, the supplementary material devised was based on Nunan’s IM model, incorporating context of daily life and global work settings, considering the principle that language is best learned in the actual meaningful situation. To widen the mastery of skill, a rich learning environment, filled with a variety instructional material tends to foster faster acquisition of the requisite skills for sustained learning and development. The role of IM is to encourage information to stick in the learners’ mind, as what is seen is understood more than what is heard. Teachers say they found the IM “very useful.” This implied that English teachers could adopt the materials to improve the speaking skills of students. Further, teachers should provide varied opportunities for students to get involved in real life situations where they could take turns in asking and answering questions and share information related to the activities. This would minimize anxiety among students in the use of the English language.

Keywords: Fluency, intonation, instructional materials, linguistic competence, pronunciation.

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