University of Hawai’I at Manoa
This dissertation investigates the prosodic and intonational characteristics of Western Cham (three letter code for International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 639-3 code: [iso=cja]), an Austronesian language in the Chamic sub-group. I examine acoustic variables of prominence at word and postlexical levels: syllable duration, pitch excursion, and mean intensity. WC syllable duration is highly correlated with word level prominence. Western Cham disyllabic words display a strong iambicity, with final syllables having twice the duration of initial syllables. This iambicity is also present in phrases comprised of two monosyllabic words. Phrase position has an effect on syllable duration and pitch excursion. Syllables in phrase-final position showed a lengthening effect and display greater pitch movement in phrase-final position. I also present a tonal grammar of Western Cham using the Autosegmental-Metrical framework and the Tones and Break Indices (ToBI) labeling convention. Two prosodic units above the word level were defined: the Accentual Phrase (AP) and Intonational Phrase (IP). Three kinds of tones are defined: edge tones, phrase tone, and pitch accent. With this inventory of tones, a mapping of sentence types to tonal contours is presented.