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Acoustics description of standard croatian accents


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Pletikos, Elenmari. (2003). Acoustics description of standard croatian accents. Govor : časopis za fonetiku, 20(1-2). pp. 321-345. ISSN 0352-7565

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This paper offers a descriptive acoustic analysis of Croatian prosodemes, i.e. of four accents and a post-accentual length spoken by three exemplary speakers of Croatian. Analyzed acoustic dimensions are: duration, formant shape, intonation and intensity contours. Since the duration of a vowel depends upon the duration of neighboring syllables, duration of the word and many other factors, duration will be normalized. When the duration of the accented vowel in two-syllable words with the short-falling accent and without the post-accentual length is used as a reference (the duration ranges between 80 and 140 ms, x=115ms, stdev=27), the duration of the short-rising equals 109% of the duration of the shortfalling accent, the duration of the long-falling equals 234% and of the long-rising 243% of the duration of the short-falling accent. Phonologically long and short post-accentual syllables are distinctively realized depending on a particular accent: short post-accentual vowel after the shortfalling equals 80% of the duration of the previous vowel, after the short-rising it is 63%, after the long-falling it is 46% and after the long-rising the duration is 36% of the duration of the previous vowel. Long post-accentual syllables are approximately 5-10% longer than the previous vowel. Results from previous research have been partly confirmed, in the fact that the short-rising accent (“slow”) is longer than the short-falling accent (“quick”). However, even when the “slow” accent is not longer, the difference between the rising and the falling accent is encoded in the relation between the duration of the post-accentual syllable and the accented syllable. Namely, the post-accentual syllable is shorter after the short-rising accent, thus perceptually increasing the duration of the accented syllable. Formant shape is not an acoustic correlate of accent type, but it is dependant on the duration of accented vowels. Falling accents have a falling f0 shape. In the long-falling accent the falling f0 shape is completely realized in the accented vowel, with the range between 5 and 7 halftones, while in the short-falling it is partially realized in the accented syllable, with the range between 2 and 4 half-tones and partially in additional f0 decrease in post-accentual vowel. The analysis of f0 shapes in rising accents shows them not as (rising) tone shapes, but rather as tone levels of two consecutive high tones (VV). These two consecutive tones can also be interpreted as low + high (NV), because the f0 peak, sometimes even the average f0, in accented syllables with rising accents is lower than in falling accents. The maximum intensity range is greater in the accented syllable in falling accents, but in rising accents it is greater in the post-accentual syllable. Intensity contour shows more variability than frequency contour, but it is prevailingly of falling shape. It can be concluded that common names of Croatian accents partially reflect their acoustic reality. Parts of their names reflecting duration and the name falling, meaning falling f0 shape, remain undisputed. Rising accents are not realized as rising contours. On the average those are flat contours in which f0 shape direction is not relevant. What is relevant, though, is the fact that the f0 of post-accentual syllable is on the same level. However, since the flat intonation contour (high average tone of accented and post-accentual syllables) is psychoacoustically perceived as rising, the name “rising” is auditively justified and it is relevant to two syllables.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: prosodemes, accents, Croatian, acoustic analysis
Subjects: Phonetics
Departments: Department of Phonetics
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2013 11:21
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2013 11:21

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