Chapter published in:Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Vietnamese Linguistics
Edited by Nigel Duffield, Trang Phan and Tue Trinh
[Studies in Language Companion Series 211] 2019
► pp. 9–30
Intonation in southern Vietnamese interrogative sentences
This study looks at the acoustic cues that characterize the intonation of questions in southern Vietnamese. We find a raised f0 height and a rising contour in a third of interrogatives, but – with the exception of alternative (and some open) questions – we argue that these properties cannot distinguish interrogatives from other sentence types. The only cue systematically associated with questions is that they tend to have a faster speech rate. Our findings replicate recent studies conducted on northern Vietnamese showing that there are idiosyncratic differences in the realization of intonation and that intonation may not be as grammaticalized as in Western languages. Vietnamese interrogatives are marked with particles or inferred from context and their intonation plays an ancillary role.
Keywords: southern Vietnamese, spontaneous speech, interrogatives, intonation, acoustic study
Published online: 09 October 2019
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