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English Language : Linguistics : Phonology :

Frequency, pitch and amplitude

المؤلف:  Ahmar Mahboob and Nadra Huma Ahmar

المصدر:  A Handbook Of Varieties Of English Phonology

الجزء والصفحة:  1014-59

2024-06-12

170

Frequency, pitch and amplitude

Pickering and Wiltshire (2000) found that accented syllables were marked by a lower frequency as compared to unaccented syllables in speakers of Indian English, including those of Hindi/Urdu. They find this in contrast with American English and state (2000: 177), “compared to A[merican] E[nglish], in which accented syllables have increased frequency in these contexts, I[ndian] E[nglish] shows a distinct use of a decrease in frequency in accented syllables in similar contexts. This use of low frequency on accented syllables can also be found in Indian languages, suggesting a possible source”. Based on the use of frequency to mark stress, Pickering and Wiltshire label South Asian English as a ‘pitch-accent’ language. They use the distinction between a pitch-accent and a stress-accent language and state that the major marker of accent in South Asian English is pitch. Pickering and Wiltshire also find that unlike speakers of American English, South Asian speakers do not use amplitude to mark stress.

 

In conclusion, they state (2000: 181) that “there are two differences between IndE and AmE in the phonetic realization of word accent. First, AmE is a stress-accent language, and uses cues such as amplitude and duration as well as frequency, while IndE uses pitch-accent, and relies primarily on the frequency to indicate an accented syllable. Second, AmE indicates an accented syllable with a high frequency, while IndE marks it with a low”.