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Post-focus compression in Brahvi and Balochi

Syed, Nasir Abbas; Shah, Abdul Waheed; Xu, Anqi; Xu, Yi; (2022) Post-focus compression in Brahvi and Balochi. Phonetica 10.1515/phon-2022-2020. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Previous research has shown that post-focus compression (PFC) - the reduction of pitch range and intensity after a focused word in an utterance, is a robust means of marking focus, but it is present only in some languages. The presence of PFC appears to follow language family lines. The present study is a further exploration of the distribution of PFC by investigating Brahvi, a Dravidian language, and Balochi, an Indo-Iranian language. Balochi is predicted to show PFC given its presence in other Iranian languages. Dravidian languages have not been studied for prosodic focus before and they are not related to any languages with PFC. We recorded twenty native speakers from each language producing declarative sentences in different focus conditions. Acoustic analyses showed that, in both languages, post-focus f 0 and other correlates were significantly reduced relative to baseline neutral-focus sentences, but post-focus lowering of f 0, and intensity was greater in magnitude in Balochi than in Brahvi. The Balochi results confirm our prediction, while the Brahvi results offer the first evidence of PFC in a Dravidian language. The finding of PFC in a Dravidian language is relevant to a postulated origin of PFC, which is related to the controversial Nostratic Macrofamily hypothesis.

Type: Article
Title: Post-focus compression in Brahvi and Balochi
Location: Germany
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1515/phon-2022-2020
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1515/phon-2022-2020
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Dravidian languages, Indo-Iranian languages, PFC, nostratic macrofamily, post-focus compression
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10150466
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