Focus prosody in Fijian: In-situ focus marking

Tsz Ching MUT, Candide SIMARD, Apolonia TAMATA, Kwing Lok Albert LEE

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters


This paper presents an acoustic analysis of focus prosody in Fijian - a verb-first language. We analysed the pitch (f0), intensity, and duration data of the same sentence that vary in the position of narrow focus: (i) initial, (ii) medial, and (iii) final focus, compared to the neutral focus. Compared with neutral focus, we found that narrow focus led to a general elevation of the pitch f0, greater intensity, and longer mean syllable duration. The only exception is for initial focus. Initial focus differs from the other two positions, with shorter mean syllable duration and no significant difference in intensity with neutral focus. We used sentences composed solely of juxtaposed NPs to elicit focus because in a verb-first language, focus is otherwise often marked by word order. Copyright © 2023 Guarant International.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 20th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Prague 2023
Place of PublicationCzech Republic
PublisherGuarant International
ISBN (Print)9788090811423
Publication statusPublished - 2023


Mut, T. C., Simard, C., Tamata, A., & Lee, A. (2023). Focus prosody in Fijian: In-situ focus marking. In R. Skarnitzl & J. Volín (Eds.), Proceedings of the 20th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Prague 2023 (pp. 1678-1680). Guarant International.


  • Speech prosody
  • Focus prosody
  • Fijian


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