SSHRC insight grant

Prosodic Typology: Insights from Vietnamese and Eastern Cham

  • Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)
  • 2012 – April 2016

Principal investigator:

Collaborators:

Summary:

This project is closely connected to the TIV project, see separate page. It aims at testing the cross-linguistic validity of current models of prosody and intonation by investigating Vietnamese and Eastern Cham, two languages whose prosodic structure is poorly studied.  Our objectives can be subsumed under two main research questions.

1. Is the prosodic hierarchy universal?

  • There is some debate about the existence of the prosodic word in Vietnamese (Ph?m 2008; Schiering, Bickel and Hildebrandt 2010).  After reviewing previous arguments from phonetics (Ingram and Nguy?n 2006; Nguy?n and Ingram 2006), phonology (Ph?m 2008) and morphosyntax (Ngô 1984; Noyer 1998), the phonological and phonetic evidence will be further investigated.
  • The existence and realization of higher prosodic constituents (phonological, phrase, intonational phrase) has never been systematically investigated in Vietnamese and Eastern Cham. Phonetic and phonological processes supporting the existence of these larger domains will be looked for.
  • There is a general consensus that the boundaries of prosodic domains do not map to syntax directly, but are only sensitive to certain types of syntactic boundaries (Nespor and Vogel 1986; Selkirk 1995; Truckenbrodt 1999). The syntax-prosody interface of Vietnamese and Eastern Cham will be studied in detail to see if these languages obey proposed universals.

2. How does lexical tone interact with prosodic structure and intonation?

  • Although it is often observed that Vietnamese and Eastern Cham word-level pitch is not fully realized on function words or in some syntactic positions, these observations are at best impressionistic. The role of prosodic constituents and boundaries and of their correlates on the phonetic realization of lexical tones will be investigated.
  • Since pitch is already used by lexical tones in Vietnamese, one would expect that it is less available for intonation purposes (Michaud 2005; 2008). There is only one study of Eastern Cham intonation (Blood 1978), but a number of researchers have looked at read speech in Vietnamese (Tr?n 1967; ??, Tr?n and Boulakia 1998; Nguy?n and Boulakia 1999; Michaud 2005; V?, Tr?n and Castelli 2006; Brunelle, H? and Grice 2012). However, the partial nature of their results makes it necessary to extend the elicitation to more natural speech (task-oriented dialogues and telephone conversations).
  • An effect of intonation on the realization of the lexical tones of some final particles and function words in one-word utterances has already been demonstrated (H? 2010; H? and Grice 2010). These effects will be tested on a wider array of tones and prosodic environments, in both Vietnamese and Eastern Cham. Our research will be based on data elicitation with native speakers and phonetic experiments with different kinds of speech materials (laboratory, semi-natural, natural and resynthesized speech). It will be conducted in Ottawa, Cologne, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Ninh Thuan province.

Selected publications

Brunelle, Marc and Kieu-Phuong Ha and Martine Grice (2016), Inconspicuous coarticulation: a complex path to sound change in the tone system in Hanoi Vietnamese. Journal of Phonetics, 23-39.

Michaud, Alexis and Marc Brunelle, "Information Structure in Asia: Yongning Na (Sino-Tibetan) and Vietnamese (Austroasiatic)", Handbook of Information Structure, Caroline Féry et Shinichiro Ishihara., (accepted)

Phạm Thị Thu Hà and Marc Brunelle, "Ngữ điệu và các tiểu từ cuối câu trong tiếng Chăm Đông (Intonation and sentence-final particles in Eastern Cham)", Ngôn Ngữ, 6(301), 57-69, 2014.

Marc Brunelle, Daryl Chow, Nguyễn Nhã Uyên, "Effects of lexical frequency and lexical category on the duration of Vietnamese syllables", Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Glasgow, 2015.

Marc Brunelle, Kieu-Phuong Ha & Martine Grice (2012): Intonation in Northern Vietnamese. The Linguistic Review 29(1):3-36.

Invited talks

Marc Brunelle, "An incipient tone sandhi in Hanoi Vietnamese?", Colloquium, McGill, 03/2014.

Phạm Thị Thu Hà and Marc Brunelle, "Ngữ điệu và các tiểu từ cuối câu trong tiếng Chăm Phan Rang (intonation and sentence-final particles in Phan Rang Cham)", Ngôn ngữ học Việt Nam trong bối cảnh đổi mới và hộii nhập (Vietnamese linguistics in the context of reforms and integration), 05/2013.

Conference presentations

Cangemi, Francesco, Christian Weitz, Kieu-Phuong Ha, Marc Brunelle & Martine Grice (2016): Individual specificity, redundancy and the evolution of phonological systems: Intonation in a tone language. Oral talk at the 15th Biennial Conference of Laboratory Phonology: Speech Dynamics and Phonological Representation, July 13-16, 2016, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY USA.

  • Ha, K. P., S. Ebner & M. Grice (accepted). Speech prosody and possible misunderstandings in intercultural talk – A study of listener behaviour in Standard Vietnamese and German dialogues. Proceedings of the 8th international conference on Speech Prosody 8, Boston. 
  • Ha, K. P., S. Ebner & M. Grice (accepted). Speech prosody and possible misunderstandings in intercultural talk – A study of listener behaviour in Standard Vietnamese and German dialogues. Proceedings of the 8th international conference on Speech Prosody 8, Boston. 

Cangemi, Francesco, Kieu-Phuong Ha, Christian Weitz & Martine Grice (2015): Speaker-specific use of intonational cues for sentence modality and affect contrasts in Standard Vietnamese. Talk at the International workshop on Vietnamese Prosody, 16-18 August, University of Cologne.

Marc Brunelle, Daryl Chow, Nguyễn Nhã Uyên, "Effects of lexical frequency and lexical category ont the duration of Vietnamese syllables", 18th International Congress of Phonetic Science, Glasgow, August 2015.

Marc Brunelle, "A corpus-based study of prominence and stress in Vietnamese", Canadian Linguistic Association, Ottawa, 5/2015.

Marc Brunelle, Hạ Kiều Phương and Martine Grice, "Peak delay, misperception and the development of tone sandhi in Hanoi Vietnamese", Tone and Intonation in Europe 6, Utrecht, 09/2014.

Brunelle, Marc, "Is there a prosodic word in Vietnamese?", 24th Meeting of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society, Rangoon, 5/2014.

Brunelle, Marc, "Is there a prosodic word in Vietnamese?", North American Phonology Conference, Concordia University, Montréal, 4/2014.

Brunelle, Marc, Mutsumi Oi and Tabitha Daly, "Eastern Cham prosodic phrasing and intonational phonology", 22nd Meeting of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society, Agay, France, 5/2012.