Phonetic insights into a simple level-tone system: ‘careful’ vs. ‘impatient’ realizations of Naxi High, Mid and Low tones

Abstract : The Naxi language has three level tones: H, M and L (plus a marginal Rising tone). The present study aims to offer phonetic insights into this simple system through examination of production data from three male speakers and one female speaker: realizations of the three level tones on CV syllables, under two reading conditions, labelled as ‘CAREFUL’ and ‘IMPATIENT’. Fundamental frequency (F0), glottal open quotient (Oq), and formant frequency characteristics are estimated. The three level tones span about 8 semitones under ‘CAREFUL’ reading and 11 semitones under ‘IMPATIENT’ reading. The average distance separating H from M is on the same order as that separating M from L. Under ‘IMPATIENT’ reading, F0 register is higher. Oq follows speaker-specific patterns. No clear pattern of influence of tone or reading condition on vowel articulation was found. These findings (along with the original data, made available in full) offer a basis for cross-linguistic comparison.
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Alexis Michaud, Jacqueline Vaissière, Minh-Châu Nguyễn. Phonetic insights into a simple level-tone system: ‘careful’ vs. ‘impatient’ realizations of Naxi High, Mid and Low tones. ICPhS XVIII (18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences), Aug 2015, Glasgow, United Kingdom. ⟨halshs-01148765⟩

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