eesti teaduste
akadeemia kirjastus
SINCE 1965
Linguistica Uralica cover
Linguistica Uralica
ISSN 1736-7506 (Electronic)
ISSN 0868-4731 (Print)

The Phonetic and Phonological Analysis of the Fall-Rise Intonation Pattern in the Kihnu Variety of Estonian; pp. 171-179

Full article in PDF format | doi:10.3176/lu.2012.3.02

Eva Liina Asu, Nele Salveste


The paper presents an analysis of fall-rise intonation patterns in the Kihnu dialect of Estonian. The study is based on recordings of spontaneous speech from three generations of female speakers. Fall-rises occurred almost five times less frequently in the data of the speakers born around 1935 as compared to those born around 1900. The data of the speakers born after 1970 did not contain any fall-rises at all, which could be interpreted as a sign of prosodic levelling of the traditional variety. An investigation of F0 alignment revealed a systematic variation in the location of high and low tonal targets. The peaks were aligned significantly later in the case of longer phrases. The first low elbow was aligned either with the accented syllable (in monosyllabic and disyllabic words) or with the syllable following the accented syllable (in longer words and phrases), and the second low elbow with the final syllable of the phrase just before the high ­boundary. These findings lend support to the treatment of the fall-rise accent as H*L H% in accordance with the autosegmental-metrical analysis of Estonian intonation.


Arvaniti, A., Garding, G. 2007, Dialectal Variation in the Rising Accents of American English. - Papers in Laboratory Phonology 9. Berlin-New York, 547-576.

Arvaniti, A., Ladd, D. R., Mennen, I. 2006, Phonetic Effects of Focus and ”Tonal Crowding’’ in Intonation. Evidence from Greek Polar Questions. - Speech Communication 48, 667-696.

Asu, E. L. 2004, The Phonetics and Phonology of Estonian Intonation (Doctoral dissertation. University of Cambridge).

Asu, E. L. 2005, Intonational Contour Alignment in Saaremaa and Standard ­Estonian. - LU XLI, 107-112.

Asu, E. L. 2006, Tonal Alignment in Two Varieties of Estonian. - Nordic Prosody. Proceedings of the IXth Conference, Lund 2004, Frankfurt am Main, 29-35.

Asu, E. L., Lippus, P., Teras, P., Tuisk, T. 2009, The Realization of Estonian Quantity Characteristics in Spontaneous Speech. - Nordic Prosody. Proceedings of the Xth Conference, Helsinki 2008, Frankfurt, 49-56.

Asu, E. L., Niit, E. 2010, Prosodic Features of the West Estonian Dialect of Kihnu. - Congressus XI Internationalis Fenno-Ugristarum, Pars III. Summaria Acroasium in Symposiis Factarum, Piliscsaba, 7.

Atterer, M., Ladd, D. R. 2004, On the Phonetics and Phonology of ”Segmental Anchoring” of F0. Evidence from German. - Journal of Phonetics 32, 177-197.

Boersma, P., Weenink, D. 2011, Praat: doing phonetics by computer [Computer program].

Féry, C. 1993, German Intonational Patterns, Tübingen.

Grabe, E., Post, B., Nolan, F. 2001, Modelling Intonational Variation in English. The IViE System. - Proceedings of Prosody 2000, Poznan, 51-57.

Grice, M., Baumann, S., Benzmüller, R. 2005, German Intonation in Autosegmental-Metrical Phonology. - Prosodic Typology. The Phonology of Intonation and Phrasing, Oxford, 55-83.

Grigorjev, P., Keevallik, L., Niit, E., Paldre, L., Sak, K., Veismann, A. 1997, Kihnu murde assimileerumise mustreid Manilaiul. - Pühendusteos Huno Rätsepale, Tartu (Tartu Ülikooli eesti keele õppetooli toimetised 7), 26-44.

Gussenhoven, C. 2005, Transcription of Dutch Intonation. - Prosodic Typology. The Phonology of Intonation and Phrasing, Oxford, 118-145.

Kalits, V. 2006, Kihnlaste elatusalad XIX sajandi keskpaigast XX sajandi keskpaigani, Kihnu.

Ladd, D. R., Mennen, I., Schepman, A. 2000, Phonological Conditioning of Peak Alignment of Rising Pitch Accents in Dutch. - Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 107, 2685-2696. PMid:10830390

Ladd, D. R., Schepman, A., White, L., Quarmby, L. M., Stackhouse, R. 2009, Structural and Dialectal Effects on Pitch Peak Alignment in Two Varieties of British English. - Journal of Phonetics 37, 145-161.

Lickley, R., Schepman, A., Ladd, D. R. 2005, Alignment of ”Phrase Accent” Lows in in Dutch Falling Rising Questions. Theoretical and Methodological Implications. - Language and Speech 48, 157-183. PMid:16411503

Niit, E. 1980, The Structure of the Baltic Prosodic Area and the Place of Estonian Dialects in It, Tallinn (Preprint KKI-17).

Plüschke, M. 2011, Peak Alignment in Falling Accents in Estonian. - Proceedings of the XVII International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Hong Kong, 17-21 August 2011, Hong Kong, 1614-1617.

Prieto, P., Torreira, F. 2007, The Segmental Anchoring Hypothesis Revisited. Syllable Structure and Speech Rate Effects on Peak Timing in Spanish. - Journal of Phonetics 35, 473-500.

Prieto, P., van Santen, J., Hirschberg, J. 1995, Tonal Alignment Patterns in Spanish. - Journal of Phonetics 23, 429-451.

Saar, T. 1934, Murdeülevaade (MS. Institute of the Estonian Language. Archive of Estonian dialects and Finno-Ugric languages).

Schepman, A., Lickley, R., Ladd, D. R. 2006, Effects of Vowel Length and ”Right Context” on the Alignment of Dutch Nuclear Accents. - Journal of Phonetics 34, 1-28.

Silverman, K., Pierrehumbert, J. 1990, The Timing of Prenuclear High Accents in English. - Papers in Laboratory Phonology I, 72-106.

Tanning, S. 1948, Murdepäevik (MS. Institute of the Estonian Language. Archive of Estonian dialects and Finno-Ugric languages).

Uhmann, S. 1991, Fokusphonologie. Eine Analyse deutscher Intonationskonturen im Rahmen der nicht-linearen Phonologie, Tübingen

Back to Issue