Justin Murphy & Alan C. L. Yu
Phonology Laboratory, The University of Chicago

ID 1268
[full paper]

Recent research shows that the minima and maxima of pitch accent and tonal contours are often aligned with segmental anchors. This study examines f0 alignment in Washo, an endangered American language. Washo is interesting because, unlike other languages which have been studied, it not only has a vowel length distinction, but also what is known as ‘stress-sensitive quantity alternations’ [1]: long stressed vowels are followed by a short consonant (V:C), while short stressed vowels are followed by a geminate (VC:) This paper reports the results of an acoustic experiment demonstrating that the anchoring of f0 landmarks in Washo makes reference to anchors at the moraic rather than the segmental level. It is found that H anchors consistently with the second mora of the stressed vowel. L, meanwhile, cannot be anchored to the onset of the stressed vowel without reference to the sonority of segments preceding the tonic vowel.