Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 10 : 4 April 2010
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.
         S. M. Ravichandran, Ph.D.



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Acoustic Correlates of Stress in Mizo, a Tonal Language

Narasimhan. S.V., M.Sc. (Speech and Hearing)
Litha Rose Jose, M.Sc. (Speech and Hearing)
B. Shahid Hasain, M.Sc. (Speech and Hearing)
Rohini Chand, M.Sc. (Speech and Hearing)


As, tone languages use pitch and stress to signal a difference in meaning between words (A very 1977), , the acoustic factors which contribute to this stress patterns in tone languages may differ from the stress patterns in non tone language. Hence the present study aimed at identifying the acoustic correlates of stress in the Mizo language.

A total of 22 native Mizo speakers participated in the study. Ten Mizo phrases were selected. All the speakers were asked to say those phrases in stressed and unstressed conditions. Recorded phrases were subjected to acoustical analysis and Tone Duration, Tone Height and Peak Amplitude was measured and S-ratios for the same parameters were calculated.

The results indicated that tone speakers give stress by increasing the duration of the word or the syllable and also, they perceive stress with increased duration of the word or the syllable. Tone duration was the major cue for stress in Mizo language which is in consonance with other studies in tone languages. The obtained data will foster our understanding of the behavior of stress in tone languages. It will provide a thrust to the long felt need for research in the field of prosody in tonal languages of India.


A tonal language is one having a lexically significant, contrastive but relative pitch on each syllable (Beach, 1924). Tone language has four basic characteristics:

i. Lexically significant pitch (pitch distinguishes the meanings of words).
ii. Contrastive pitch (pitch that can be differing within a functional system).
iii. Relative pitch (relative height of the toneme)
iv. Significant pitch unit.

Most frequently there is one to one correlation between the number of syllables and the number of tonemes in any specific word. However, a syllable may have more than one toneme, or a combination of tonemes.

Tone in Linguistic Descriptions

Tone was not part of the European philological tradition which provided the frame work for the description of languages before the 20th century. While concepts such as quality, accent, were familiar to classical scholars before the rise of linguistics in the modern sense, this is not true of tone. The reasons for this are clear as none of the major European languages are tone languages in the full sense, and acquaintance with non-European languages was quite limited before the modern era.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

The Influence of First Language Grammar (L1) on the English Language (L2) Writing of Tamil School Students: A Case Study from Malaysia | Economic Hardship and Emotional Humiliation in Mulk Raj Anand's Untouchable | Effects of Using Urdu Dictionary as a Teaching Tool for Teaching Urdu in Urdu Language Classroom in Pakistan | Acoustic Correlates of Stress in Mizo, a Tonal Language | Racism and the American Dream in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men | Stimulating Language Strategies through Thinking - Help for Slow Learners | Masses as the True Makers of History - Analysis of the Play The Trial of Dedan Mimathi | Personal and Labour Market Environment Factors in English for Employability: A Case Study of KSA | A Study of the Reported Language Skill Development Strategies of the Student Teachers in Pakistan | Strategies for Communication Skills Development | Schema in Learning | Achieving Professional Goals: Use of a Mixed Discourse in Interviews | The Reality in Langston Hughes' Poems | Techniques to Teach Vocabulary to Regional Medium Students | Life History of Buddha as Reflected in Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha | Technique as Voyage of Discovery: A Study of the Techniques in Dante's Paradiso | Some Gaps in the Current Studies of Reading in Second/Foreign Language Learning | Unmasking Student Competence: Using Computers to Teach Writing | Feminist Literary Criticism | Amy Tan and Chinese American Literature | An Acoustic Analysis of Glottal Fricative [h] at Word Medial and Final Positions:
A Comparison between Regular and Non-regular Urdu Speakers of Pakistan
| Teaching Writing Skills | Self-esteem of Institutionalised Elderly Women in Coimbatore - A Case History | An Assessment on Women's Work Participation and Economic Equality | Economics of Crime : A Comparative Analysis of the Socio-Economic Conditions of Convicted Female and Male Criminality in Selected Prisons in Tamil Nadu | A PRINT VERSION OF ALL THE PAPERS OF APRIL 2010 ISSUE IN BOOK FORMAT | HOME PAGE of April 2010 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

Narasimhan. S.V., M.Sc. (Speech and Hearing)
J.S.S. Institute of Speech and Hearing, Mysore
#284, L.I.G, E-Block, 3rd stage, VijayNagara
Mysore 570017
Karnataka, India

Litha Rose Jose, M.Sc. (Speech and Hearing)
California, USA.

B.Shahid Hasain, M.Sc. (Speech and Hearing)
Sweekar Rural Institute for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled
Dist. Government Hospital
Kadapa Dist.
Andhra Pradesh

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