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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

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Academic Paper


Title: The intonational phonology of Bangladeshi Standard Bengali
Paper URL: http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199567300.001.0001/acprof-9780199567300-chapter-4
Editor: Sun-ah Jun
Institution: University of California, Los Angeles
Author: Sameer ud Dowla Khan
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://academic.reed.edu/linguistics/khan/
Institution: Reed College
Linguistic Field: Phonetics; Phonology
Subject Language: Bengali
Abstract: Bengali is a language without contrastive tone or stress, and in that sense is very different from stress accent languages such as English (Pierrehumbert 1980), Dutch (Gussenhoven 2005), German (Grice, Baumann, & Benzmüller 2005), Catalan (Prieto, this volume), and Greek (Arvaniti & Baltazani 2005), lexical tone languages such as Cantonese (Wong, Chan, & Beckman 2005) and Mandarin (Peng, Chan, Tseng, Huang, Lee, & Beckman 2005), lexical pitch accent languages such as Tokyo Japanese (Pierrehumbert & Beckman 1988, Venditti 2005), and stressed lexical pitch accent languages such as Swedish (Bruce 1977, 2005) and Serbo-Croatian (Godjevac 2005). It does, however, have predictable stress assignment and a robust intonational system, thus making it most similar to languages such as French (Jun & Fougeron 2000) and Finnish (Suomi, Toivanen, & Ylitalo 2003; Suomi & Ylitalo 2004), and also somewhat similar to the growing category of languages identified as having inton- ational systems without any type of stress assignment (lexical or postlexical), such as Seoul Korean (Jun 1996a, 2005a), Halh Mongolian (Karlsson, this volume), West Greenlandic (Arnhold, this volume), and the “one-pattern accent” and “accentless” dialects of Japanese (Igarashi, this volume). Because both stress and pitch in Bengali are entirely postlexical in nature, the language gives us a valuable glimpse into how prosody can be determined entirely independently of lexical information. This chapter presents the model and transcription system of Bengali prosody first introduced in Khan (2008), adopting the framework of autosegmental-metrical (AM) theory of intonational phonology (Pierrehumbert 1980; Pierrehumbert & Beckman 1988; Ladd 1996) and the ToBI-style method of prosodic annotation (Silverman, Beckman, Pitrelli, Ostendorf, Wightman, Price, Pierrehumbert, & Hirschberg 1992; Beckman & Ayers Elam 1997). The chapter begins in section 4.2 with a brief review of studies of two dialects of Bengali. In section 4.3, the major aspects of the current model of Bangladeshi Standard Bengali are presented, including the prosodic effects of focus. The B-ToBI transcription system used to annotate pitch tracks is presented in section 4.4 and the conclusions of the study, as well as directions for future research, are summarized in section 4.5.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: Chapter 4 of Jun (2014) Prosodic Typology II: The Phonology of Intonation and Phrasing. Oxford University Press.
URL: http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199567300.001.0001/acprof-9780199567300-chapter-4
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