Janzen, Solveigh (2023). Pitch Prominence in Maltese English. Bachelor thesis, Universität zu Köln.

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In languages with lexical stress and post lexical accents, tones usually are either associated with the stressed syllable of the word (pitch accents) or are associated with the edge of a phrase (boundary tones). For Maltese it has been shown that there is an f0 peak on the initial unstressed syllable of wh-words in direct questions, associated with the left edge of the wh-word, even if the stressed syllable is multiple syllables away from the initial syllable. This pitch peak on wh-words did not occur in indirect or quoted questions. The existence of a pitch peak associated to the phrasal edge of a word on an initial un-stressed syllable as a function of sentence modality makes Maltese typologically rare. This phenomenon of the word initial pitch peak has been called early peak or early H peak, with a tendency to analyze it as non-accentual, although, research to date has not yet exactly defined early H peaks and which function they fulfil. Past research mostly investigated Maltese. However, there are indications that early H peaks might also occur in Maltese English, which is the contact variety of English and Maltese. This study intends to provide data and preliminary analyses that help to shed further light on these early H peaks in Maltese English. Contrary to past research on the early H peak in Maltese, that used speech data produced in a laboratory setting, the corpus of this study was generated from a TEDx Talk and hence provided semi-spontaneous speech that is not recorded for the purpose of research. Based on a quantitative and supplementary analysis, the study concluded that Maltese English has non-accentual early H peaks. The early H peaks often occur on function words preceding a content word, suggesting that the domain of association might be larger than the lexical word on the prosodic level.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor thesis)
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Janzen, Solveighsjanzen1@smail.uni-koeln.deUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-724060
Series Name at the University of Cologne: Papers on Prominence
Volume: 17
Date: 2023
Language: English
Faculty: Collaborative Research Centers
Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Fächergruppe 3: Deutsche Sprache und Literatur > Institut für Deutsche Sprache und Literatur I
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Fächergruppe 1: Kunstgeschichte, Musikwissenschaft, Medienkultur und Theater, Linguistik, IDH > Institut für Linguistik > Phonetik
Collaborative Research Centers > CRC 1252: Prominence in Language
Collaborative Research Centers > CRC 1252: Prominence in Language > TP A01
Subjects: Language, Linguistics
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Maltese English, English variety, Maltese, intonational phonology, pitch prominence, prosody, edge tones, pitch accentsEnglish
Date of oral exam: 2023
NameAcademic Title
Grice, MartineProf. Dr.
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/id/eprint/72406


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