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The Linguistic Review

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Intonation in Northern Vietnamese

Marc Brunelle,
  • University of Ottawa
  • :
/ Kiều Phương Hạ,
  • Universität zu Köln
  • :
/ Martine Grice,
  • Universität zu Köln
  • :
Published Online: 2012-02-21 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/tlr-2012-0002


Languages employ a range of different means for realizing communicative functions, including word choice, morpho-syntax and prosody. The relative weight of each of these means varies cross-linguistically. In this paper, we look at the role of intonation in the realization of communicative functions in Northern Vietnamese, a language with a complex lexical tone system. Our results, which are based on systematically controlled data, show that there are a number of acoustic strategies for realizing communicative functions, predominantly based on global f0 and intensity and local sentence-final f0. These strategies are subject to a great degree of speaker variation, although this variation appears to be consistent with intonational universals as reflected in biological codes.

Published Online: 2012-02-21

Published in Print: 2012-03-01

Citation Information: . Volume 29, Issue 1, Pages 3–36, ISSN (Online) 1613-3676, ISSN (Print) 0167-6318, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/tlr-2012-0002, February 2012

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