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dc.contributor.advisorKenneth N. Stevens.en_US
dc.contributor.authorDilley, Laura Christine, 1974-en_US
dc.contributor.otherHarvard University--MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology.en_US
dc.date.accessioned2008-02-28T16:09:17Z
dc.date.available2008-02-28T16:09:17Z
dc.date.copyright2005en_US
dc.date.issued2005en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/30274en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/30274
dc.descriptionThesis (Ph. D.)--Harvard University--MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, 2005.en_US
dc.descriptionIncludes bibliographical references (p. 141-148).en_US
dc.description.abstractPitch variations are used in different languages in a variety of communicative ways, from cueing lexical item identity to conveying meaning through phrasing and accentuation. Previously, linguistic theories of intonation and tone which have sought a unifying account for tonal phenomena have not defined a clear and systematic relation between phonological representations and phonetic output in terms of acoustically observable fundamental frequency (FO) variations. This is problematic, because meaningful pitch patterns cannot be related to underlying phonological primitives in any clear way, so that it is difficult to empirically verify or falsify the theory. This thesis addresses this problem by proposing a phonological description of intonation and tone for which there is a clear and systematic relationship between observed FO variations and underlying phonological primitives. The theory is based on a construct called the tone interval, which represents an abstraction of a ratio of two fundamental frequencies. A syntagmatic tone interval relates two sequentially-ordered tones, while a paradigmatic tone interval relates a tone and a speaker-specific referent level. Tone intervals define one of three relations: a tone may be higher, lower, or the same level as its referent. Additional language-specific categories may be formed which restrict the pitch distance between a tone and its referent. Tones in syntagmatic tone intervals are assumed to be arranged at the phrasal level with respect to a metrical grid, which represents the relative prominence and timing of syllables.en_US
dc.description.abstract(cont.) This permits interactions between nonsequential tones occupying metrically prominent syllables, accounting for cross-linguistic observations involving control of relative height relations on nonadjacent syllables. Six experiments tested the predictions of tone interval theory and other phonological theories for English. Experiments 1 and 3 involved discrimination of pairs of stimuli in which the timing of an FO extremum had been varied along a continuum with respect to segments, while Experiments 2 and 4 involved imitation of these stimuli. Experiments 5 and 6 involved imitating stimuli in which absolute FO level had been varied along a continuum. Consistent with the tone interval theory, these results demonstrate the importance of relative pitch level for phonological representations. In particular, discrimination maxima and discreteness in production data were observed for positions in stimulus series in which either (i) the timing of an FO extremum was varied across a vowel onset, or (ii) the FO level of one syllable switched from higher than another syllable to lower than that syllable.en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibilityby Laura Christine Dilley.en_US
dc.format.extent159, [75] p.en_US
dc.language.isoengen_US
dc.publisherMassachusetts Institute of Technologyen_US
dc.rightsM.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission.en_US
dc.rights.urihttp://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/30274en_US
dc.rights.urihttp://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/7582
dc.subjectHarvard University--MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology.en_US
dc.titleThe phonetics and phonology of tonal systemsen_US
dc.typeThesisen_US
dc.description.degreePh.D.en_US
dc.contributor.departmentHarvard University--MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology.en_US
dc.contributor.departmentHarvard University--MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology
dc.identifier.oclc60847677en_US


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