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Pitch accent alignment in Egyptian Arabic more evidence for crosslinguistic variation

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to explore the surface phonetic alignment patterns of Egyptian ... We ate a really delicious mango from the market. ir-ruzz da maaliH ?awwi wiTa9muh waaHi ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Pitch accent alignment in Egyptian Arabic more evidence for crosslinguistic variation


1
Pitch accent alignment in Egyptian Arabicmore
evidence for cross-linguistic variation
  • Sam Hellmuth SOAS
  • samhellmuth_at_soas.ac.uk
  • PaPI 2005, Barcelona
  • 20th June 2005

2
Egyptian Arabic pitch accent alignment
  • Aim
  • to explore the surface phonetic alignment
    patterns of Egyptian Arabic pitch targets
  • in rising pre-nuclear ( non-final) pitch accents
  • in different syllable types
  • to establish their phonological representation
  • to contribute to the growing range of
    cross-linguistic alignment data
  • towards pitch-accent typology
  • Egyptian Arabic (EA)
  • Egyptian Arabic the dialect of Arabic spoken
    in Cairo
  • and also by educated people throughout Egypt
  • all data reported here collected in Cairo

3
autosegmental-metrical theory
  • In AM theory, intonational contours are analysed
    as
  • a sequence of pitch targets
  • H or L or bitonal combinations thereof
  • autosegmentally associated with prosodic
    structure
  • aka metrical structure syllables, feet, words,
    phrases...

Ladd 1996, PB1988 inter alia
starred tone associated with the stressed
syllable of the main stress foot of the accented
word
Gussenhoven 2002
4
pitch accent alignment
  • recent discussion can phonological association
    (starredness) be inferred from surface
    alignment of individual pitch targets? Ladd 2003,
    Prieto et al (in press)
  • effects of prosodic context on surface alignment
  • Prieto et al (1995) Mexican Spanish pre-nuclear
    rising accents
  • in open syllables eg número
  • L very stably aligned at left edge of stressed
    syllable but see Prieto (in press)
  • H alignment is affected systematically by
  • proximity to a prosodic boundary
  • proximity to other pitch accents
  • results reproduced for Lebanese Arabic (LA)
    Chahal 2001
  • patterns of surface alignment to segmental
    landmarks
  • eg Arvaniti et al (1998) Greek pre-nuclear rising
    accents
  • targets independently aligned to specific
    landmarks in the string
  • L aligned very stably at the left edge of the
    stressed syllable
  • onset of the initial consonant of the stressed
    syllable (C0)
  • H also aligned stably to segmental landmarks
  • segmental anchoring

5
pitch accent alignment
AL2004187
  • two key studies for comparison here
  • Atterer Ladd 2004
  • comparison of L/H target alignment
  • in two dialects of German
  • open syllables
  • Ladd, Mennen Schepman 2000
  • comparison of alignment in Dutch long vs short
    vowels
  • L alignment very stable (at C0)
  • H aligned
  • within stressed vowel in CVV (long/tense)
  • into following consonant in CV (short/lax)
  • research questions
  • how are pitch targets in EA non-final pitch
    accents aligned?
  • does alignment of EA pitch targets vary across
    syllable types?

6
pitch accent alignment
  • what is known about EA pitch accents?
  • highly populated pitch accent distribution
  • Arabic seems to have a greater tendency to
    accent all words.. Mitchell 1993230
  • lexical stress of every content word will be
    stressed in continuous speech if.. nothing to
    cause suppression of the stress Heliel 1977125
  • cf Spanish, Greek (Jun 2004), NEP, Brazilian
    Portuguese (Vigario Frota 2003)
  • non-final pitch accents are bitonal
  • an up-and-down, see-saw effect..
    characterises the spoken language ....
    unaccented syllables in the same word.. remain
    on the same height.. whereas pitch dips markedly
    lower to pre-accentual syllables in the following
    word.. from which a jump takes place to the
    height of the following accented syllable ....
    Mitchell 1993
  • pre-final stressed syllables.. are depicted by a
    late peak situated on the last point of the
    syllable... and are all rising Rifaat 1991

7
methodology
  • study modelled on Atterer Ladd 2004 BUT
  • three types of target syllable
  • 1 CV light open short tense vowel
  • 2 CVC heavy closed short lax vowel Shahin 1996
  • 3 CVV heavy open long tense vowel
  • target syllables word-initial, target word
    non-initial in sentence
  • to clarify alignment facts in heavy vs light
    syllables
  • to facilitate comparison with the results of
    other studies (some CV, some CVC)
  • word-medial CVC closed syllables also tested
  • 4 CVC heavy closed short lax vowel
  • is alignment of pitch targets to word edge(s) or
    to the stressed syllable?
  • to facilitate comparison with the results of
    other studies (some word-initial, some
    word-medial)

8
methodology
  • targets placed in frame sentences, as natural
    as possible
  • 6 sentences per set gt 24 target sentences
    distractors
  • read three times by 15 EA speakers
  • 6 female 9 male
  • all at pre-intermediate level or lower in English
  • 24 x 15 x 3 1080 (270 per set) gt 939 fluent
    tokens for analysis
  • digital recordings using ProTools 6.1 on MBox,
    headset microphone
  • 44.1KHz 16 bit, re-sampled to 22.5KHz
  • F0/spectrogram measurements extracted using
    Praat 4.2
  • in effort to achieve naturalness gt clash context
    not fully controlled
  • intervening s before intervening s after
  • set 1 0 or 1 2-4
  • set 2 0 or 1 2-4
  • set 3 0 or 1 1-2
  • set 4 1 or 2 1-3

9
methodology
  • sample target sentences
  • ufna malik il-?urdun lamma ruHna l-?urdun
  • We saw the king of Jordan when we went to Jordan
  • ?akalna manga laziiza giddan min-is-suu?
  • We ate a really delicious mango from the market.
  • ir-ruzz da maaliH ?awwi wiTa9muh waaHi
  • That rice is really salty and tastes horrible.
  • il-mudarris mimalmil min iT-Talaba
  • The teacher is nervous of his students.

10
methodology
  • pitch event variables L1 H L2
  • alignment variables L1-C0 L1-V0 (L1-X) H-C1 (H-C2
    ) H-V1
  • peak delay H-C0
  • syllable duration1 treats C1 as end of
    syllable in set 1 (CV.CV)
  • syllable duration2 treats V1 as end of
    syllable in set 1 (CVC.V)
  • gt relative peak delay (RPD) peak delay/syllable
    duration (RPD1/RPD2)

NB L2 observed during transcription always to
fall within following word
11
results
L alignment variables
H alignment variables
relative peak delay
12
results L alignment
  • L alignment variables, all speakers, by set
  • L is aligned closer to C0 than to V0
  • ie to the left edge of the syllable

13
results L alignment
  • details of average speaker behaviour in L
    alignment across sets
  • based on speaker means within each set
  • who align L before C0 who align L after
    C0
  • set 1 8 3F,5M 7 3F,4M
  • set 2 3 3F,4M 14 6F,8M
  • set 3 5 1F,4M 10 5F,5M
  • set 4 3 1F,2M 12 5F, 7M
  • two speakers align L on average before C0 in 3
    out of 4 sets
  • mrf/mun
  • most instances of early alignment are in set 1
  • BUT no one speaker aligns before C0 consistently
    across sets
  • strong tendency to align L just after C0 (but not
    universal)
  • working hypothesis in EA L is aligned just
    after C0

14
L alignment
  • in EA L aligns to left edge of the syllable, most
    often just after C0
  • however there is a considerable variation in the
    dataset
  • across a range of 200 ms for some speakers

clash
15
results H alignment
  • H alignment variables, all speakers, by set
  • H is aligned after C1
  • ie to the right edge of the syllable?

16
results H alignment
  • rise duration (H-L) x syllable duration
  • rise duration maps more closely to sylldur2 than
    sylldur1
  • suggests that alignment of H best described in
    terms of syllable definition 2

17
results H alignment
  • in terms of segmental landmarks, H alignment
    patterns differently in light vs heavy syllables
  • in CV (set 1) just before/after V1
  • 8 speakers (1F/7M) align H before V1
  • 7 speakers (5F/2M) align H after V1
  • mean RPD1 gt 1 (H aligned outside stressed
    syllable)
  • in CVC (set 2/4) between C1 C2
  • all speakers align H between C1 C2
  • mean RPD1 lt 1 (H aligned well inside stressed
    syllable)
  • in CVV (set 3) just before/after C1
  • 8 speakers (1F/7M) align H before C1
  • 7 speakers (5F/2M) align H after C1
  • RPD1 8 speakers lt1 7 speakers gt1

clash
18
results H alignment
  • distance from H to syllable end (2)
  • H aligns later in open syllables (CVV CV) than
    in closed syllables (CVC)
  • an effect of vowel quality? (tense/lax)
  • however there is considerable variation in the
    dataset...

19
H alignment
20
results towards explanations
  • Q is H aligned a fixed distance from L?
  • as already seen, there is some correlation
    between rise duration syllable duration (2)
  • suggesting that as the duration of the syllable
    increases the position of H also moves
  • the correlation is weak but is significant
  • Kendalls t 0.262
  • p lt 0.01
  • some support for segmental anchoring in EA

21
results towards explanations
  • Q is there a fixed slope (rate of F0 change)?
  • F0 change (semitones) x rise duration
  • there is a correlation
  • unlike Greek (Arvaniti et al 1998)
  • suggesting that as the duration of the syllable
    increases the position of H also moves
  • again, the correlation is weak but is significant
  • Kendalls t 0.136
  • p lt 0.01

compare findings of Elzarki 1996 (EA
pronunciation of Modern Standard Arabic)..
22
results towards explanations
  • Q how stable is H scaling?
  • mean H F0 (semitones)
  • ie are speakers aiming at a specific H pitch
    target level?
  • unable yet to normalise for individual speaker
    pitch range (work in progress)
  • but visually there does not seem to be an effect
    of syllable type on H scaling

23
results summary
  • L alignment
  • at left edge of stressed syllable
  • H alignment
  • at right edge of stressed syllable
  • explanations
  • fixed duration?
  • fixed slope?
  • segmental anchoring?
  • all three seem to be relevant
  • ? due to enlarged speaker set and resulting
    variation
  • in this context the consistent alignment of L and
    H to the syllable edges is all the more striking

24
discussion cross-linguistic variation in
alignment
  • comparison to other Arabic dialects
  • Lebanese Arabic Chahal 2001 (4 speakers)
  • LA L aligns before/after C0 (depending on word
    position)
  • EA L aligns just after C0 (slight variation due
    to word position)
  • but in same direction (L aligned earlier in
    medial syllable than initial)
  • LA H aligns outside the stressed syllable in
    CVC syllables
  • EA H aligns inside the stressed syllable in CVC
    syllables

In LA L aligns earlier than in EA, and H aligns
later...
25
discussion cross-linguistic variation in
alignment
  • comparison to other Arabic dialects
  • Moroccan Arabic Yeou 2004 (5 speakers)
  • in MA
  • L aligns close to the onset of the syllable
  • H aligns after C1 in CV syllables
  • after the end of the stressed vowel
  • H aligns after C1/before C2 in CVC syllables
  • within the stressed syllable (inferred from RPD
    value)
  • In MA both L and H align similarly to their EA
    counterparts

26
discussion cross-linguistic variation in
alignment
  • comparison to other languages
  • comparing data in short open syllables

additional evidence in support of a continuum of
cross-linguistic variation in phonetic alignment
of phonologically parallel pitch accents is it
appropriate however to make a direct comparison
of EA with these languages? are these pitch
accents phonologically parallel?
27
discussion phonological specification of EA
pitch accents
  • unable at present to choose from among the three
    possible explanations
  • fixed duration vs. fixed slope vs. segmental
    anchoring
  • BUT association cannot be based on phonetic
    alignment in any straightforward way.. Arvaniti
    et al (2000) (emphasis mine)
  • working hypothesis for EA pitch accents
  • in the spirit of Prieto et al (in press)
  • bitonal pitch accent LH
  • primary association of H to stressed syllable
  • perceptual salience of H cf Rifaat 2003
  • no secondary association of H?
  • default alignment of L to onset of stressed
    syllable
  • problem? association of strong element in pitch
    accent...
  • with weak element in foot
  • it is only meaningful to compare EA surface pitch
    accent alignment facts then with languages which
    also employ LH (defined under the same set of
    assumptions)
  • ?Catalan LH rise with delayed peak (Catalan
    targets were open syllables)
  • additional categories may also be needed
  • should influence of fixed slope/duration be
    phonologically encoded?

LH F s s ?ma lik?
28
??? ???thank you!
  • With thanks to
  • the Egyptian Arabic speakers who acted as
    consultants
  • audiences at the UCL Phonology Reading Group
    Manchester Phonology Meeting for comments on
    earlier versions of this paper
  • This work was funded by AHRB postgraduate award
    01/59198.
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