The Phonological Variation of Tones: An Acoustic Study of Attitudinal Function in Bangla Clauses

Conference: The Asian Conference on Language (ACL2022)
Title: The Phonological Variation of Tones: An Acoustic Study of Attitudinal Function in Bangla Clauses
Stream: Linguistics
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Anannya Mondal, The English and Foreign Languages University, India


The study aims to explore the variety of tones used by the speakers of Bangla (Standard Colloquial Bangla) in different contexts using different attitudes. The framework chosen for this study is Systemic Functional theory described by Halliday (1967, 1970) and Halliday & Greaves (2008). Three clauses - Declarative, Interrogative: polar and Imperative (one sentence for each clause) were included to investigate the tones of the speech function. Two different tasks, the constructed contextualization for voice recording and a listening test, were provided to two different set of participants. Apart from ‘neutral’ context, ‘anger’, ‘confused’, ‘determined’ etc. attitudes have been explored. The recordings were analyzed using PRAAT software. The acoustic features, such as, F0, pitch range, duration, intensity etc. contributed to determine the attitudes in different contexts. Thus, the study is based upon two hypotheses: a. various attitudes can be construed by a same clause, not just by variations in the neutral tone but with different tones altogether; b. the listeners can identify the tones and attitudes used in different contexts. The findings of the research revealed that there is a variation of tones in Falling, Rising and Falling-Rising tone. The listeners are also able to identify the tones in different contexts. The implication of the study provides that the realization of tones facilitate the accurate interpretation to construe the meaning in the contexts.

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