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Prosodic TypologyThe Phonology of Intonation and Phrasing$
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Sun-Ah Jun

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199249633

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199249633.001.0001

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An Autosegmental-Metrical Analysis and Prosodic Annotation Conventions for Cantonese

An Autosegmental-Metrical Analysis and Prosodic Annotation Conventions for Cantonese

(p.271) 10 An Autosegmental-Metrical Analysis and Prosodic Annotation Conventions for Cantonese*
Prosodic Typology

Wai Yi P. Wong

Marjorie K. M. Chan

Mary E. Beckman

Oxford University Press

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

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