Chapter

An Autosegmental-Metrical Analysis and Prosodic Annotation Conventions for Cantonese

Wai Yi P. Wong, Marjorie K. M. Chan and Mary E. Beckman

in Prosodic Typology

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780199249633
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191719349 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199249633.003.0010
An Autosegmental-Metrical Analysis and Prosodic Annotation Conventions for Cantonese

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This chapter introduces the C-ToBI (Cantonese Tones and Break Indices) conventions for modern Cantonese. These conventions are designed for use in annotating tone and juncture phenomena in spoken Cantonese corpora. Tone and juncture phenomena of special interest for prosodic typology include: the rather strict monosyllabicity of Cantonese word forms; the absence of contrast between ‘stressed’ and reduced (‘neutral tone’) syllables; and the extremely dense syntagmatic tonal specification, including non-segmental boundary tones. All three characteristics set Cantonese apart from Mandarin Chinese. Another phenomenon of interest is that, despite the existence of syllable fusion in Cantonese, there seems to be no reliable categorical markings of intermediate levels of prosodic grouping between the syllable and the intonational phrase. The C-ToBI conventions proposed here are intended to facilitate the development of the large prosodically-annotated speech corpora that are needed to address these issues and the many questions concerning the prosodic structure of modern Cantonese.

Keywords: autosegmental analysis; Cantonese; Chinese; Chinese dialects; intonation; metrical analysis; prosody; spontaneous speech annotation; syllable fusion; C-ToBI

Chapter.  10377 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Phonetics and Phonology

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