Prosodic Description: An Introduction for Fieldworkers

Date
2008-12
Authors
Himmelmann, Nikolaus P.
Ladd, D. Robert
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University of Hawai'i Press
Volume
2
Number/Issue
2
Starting Page
244
Ending Page
274
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Abstract
This article provides an introductory tutorial on prosodic features such as tone and accent for researchers working on little-known languages. It specifically addresses the needs of non-specialists and thus does not presuppose knowledge of the phonetics and phonology of prosodic features. Instead, it intends to introduce the uninitiated reader to a field often shied away from because of its (in part real, but in part also just imagined) complexities. It consists of a concise overview of the basic phonetic phenomena (section 2) and the major categories and problems of their functional and phonological analysis (sections 3 and 4). Section 5 gives practical advice for documenting and analyzing prosodic features in the field.
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Keywords
prosody, tone, accent, fieldwork
Citation
Himmelmann, Nikolaus P., and D. Robert Ladd. 2008. Prosodic description: An introduction for fieldworkers. Language Documentation & Conservation 2(2):244–274.
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