Lisa Davidson (NYU): Acoustic Correlates to Levels of Stress in Hawaiian (ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi)

Please join us in Cobb Hall 115 on Friday, November 10 at 3:30 PM for the last LVC meeting of the quarter, where Prof. Lisa Davidson will be presenting on the phonology of Hawai‘an.

Acoustic correlates to levels of stress in Hawaiian (ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi)

Phonological analyses of metrical structure in Hawaiian (ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi) have posited primary, secondary, and unstressed syllables. We investigate whether fundamental frequency, intensity, and duration distinguish all three levels of stress in Hawaiian words containing only short vowels flanked by consonants. The data comprise speech from 8 native speakers interviewed on a Hawaiian-language radio program in the 1970s. Results indicate that none of the correlates distinguish primary stress from secondary stress, but both stressed types are distinct from unstressed syllables for F0 and intensity. Duration is not a correlate of stress in Hawaiian, but rather may indicate lengthening of the entire final prosodic word. The results for this generation of speakers is discussed with respect to possible changes that could occur in Modern Hawaiian.

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