Intrinsic fundamental frequency in two tonal Austronesian languages

Laura Arnold, Jiayin Gao, James P. Kirby

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

We report on intrinsic fundamental frequency (IF0) differences in Butlih Salawati and Biga, two closely related Austronesian languages. Both languages have small inventories of six underlying vowels; they both also have simple tone systems, with two specified tones. We show that IF0 differences between high and low vowels in the languages range from 1.5 to 2.8 ST, depending on tonal specification and utterance context. Overall, these results are larger than the mean crosslinguistic difference of 1.65 ST. Based on the previous literature, strong claims that IF0 is under the control of the speaker predict that IF0 differences are attenuated in tone languages, and not enhanced in languages with small vowel inventories. The results presented here do not support these claims. However, we suggest that these results may explain the comparatively frequent tonal developments conditioned by vowel height attested in Austronesian languages.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 20th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences
EditorsRadek Skarntizl, Jan Volín
Place of PublicationPrague
PublisherGuarant International
ISBN (Electronic)9788090811423
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2023
Event20th International Conference of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS) - Prague Congress Centre, Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 7 Aug 202311 Aug 2023


Conference20th International Conference of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS)
Abbreviated titleICPhS 2023
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic
Internet address

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Austronesian
  • intrinsic fundamental frequency
  • vowels
  • tone
  • production


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