TITLE

Acoustic Correlates of Stress in Central Catalan and Castilian Spanish

AUTHOR(S)
Ortega-Llebaria, Marta; Prieto, Pilar
PUB. DATE
March 2011
SOURCE
Language & Speech;03/01/2011, Vol. 54 Issue 1, p73
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The general literature on the phonetic correlates of stress agrees that duration, and in stress accent languages, F0 are consistent correlates of stress. However, the role of amplitude changes in the speech signal is more controversial. In particular, the conflicting results of spectral tilt as a correlate of stress have been attributed to the effects of vowel reduction. We examined the stress correlates of duration, overall intensity and spectral tilt in Catalan and Spanish in both accented and unaccented contexts while controlling for formant frequency differences between morphologically corresponding vowels in stressed and unstressed environments by comparing vowels that maintain the same quality across stress contexts with those that do not. Duration was a consistent stress correlate in all vowels in both languages, regardless of their formant frequency differences across stress contexts and of the absence of pitch accents. In fact, stress-related formant frequency differences between corresponding vowels amplify the duration cues to the stress contrast. On the other hand, the use speakers made of intensity was not as pervasive as that of duration. Specifically, changes in spectral tilt were significant only in Catalan and in those vowels that alternate a more open and peripheral realization in stressed syllables with a mid-central realization in unstressed syllables, indicating that spectral tilt is related to the formant frequency differences linked to the centralization processes rather than to the stress contrast.
ACCESSION #
59569563

 

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