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Acoustic Correlates of Emphatic Stress in Tulu: A Preliminary Study

DOI: 10.5923/j.linguistics.20120103.02

Keywords: Stress, Fundamental Frequency, Intensity, Duration

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Stress is an extra effort given on a syllable/word/phrase to emphasize special meaning. The acoustic cues for stress include increased fundamental frequency, amplitude, duration and vowel quality. These cues vary depending upon the structure of languages. The acoustic correlates of emphatic stress in Tulu language are not well understood. Hence the aim of the present study was to investigate the acoustic correlates of emphatic stress in Tulu language. A total of 20 female native speakers of Tulu language within the age range of 18-25 years were selected for the study. Ten bisyllabic words consisting of an adjective and a verb were chosen. The subjects were asked to read the two word phrases with and without stress on the adjectives, to note the variations in stressed and unstressed conditions. The peak fundamental frequency (f0), peak intensity (dB) and duration (msec) were extracted from the adjectives of ten phrases using the praat software. Paired t test was employed to note the significance of difference between the stressed and unstressed conditions. Statistical analysis revealed significant increase in word duration and peak intensity in stressed conditions. It can be concluded that the Tulu speakers use duration and intensity as a cue to indicate emphatic stress. Additional research is warranted to confirm these findings, using larger population and by controlling the variables that affect the acoustic cues for stress in Tulu language.


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