The Accentual Phrase in Singapore EnglishChong A.J. · Sneed German J.
aDepartment of Linguistics, University of California, Los Angeles, Calif., USA; bAix-Marseille Université, CNRS, LPL, Aix-en-Provence, France
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This paper reports on a speech production experiment that explores whether the accentual phrase (AP) represents an abstract level of prosodic phrasing in Singapore English. Specifically, it tests whether the right edge of the AP is associated with phrase-final lengthening, the degree of which can be distinguished from lengthening associated with the intonational phrase (IP). Target words were produced in matched sentence contexts in 3 phrasal positions: AP-medial (wordfinal), AP-final, and IP-final. As predicted, target words in AP-final position were longer than those in AP-medial position and shorter than those in IP-final position. Analysis of target duration and f0 together shows that AP boundaries are well discriminated from medial positions. Together, these results strongly support an AP level of phrasing for Singapore English and highlight its role in predicting timing variability.
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