Savosavo word stress: A quantitative analysis

Candide SIMARD, Claudia WEGENER, Kwing Lok Albert LEE, Faith CHIU, Connor YOUNGBERG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a quantitative analysis of stress in Savosavo (Papuan isolate), an endangered language spoken on Savo Island (Solomon Islands). Acoustic analyses comprise the measurements of F0, duration, and intensity for each syllable in a dataset carefully selected from elicited speech from one speaker only, aiming to test the effect of increasing morphological complexity on stress realization in a system that displays some variation. Statistically significant variation is found in all correlates between stressed and unstressed syllables, thus fitting with widely attested manifestations of stress cross-linguistically. Findings were further tested with a re-synthesis tool, to confirm our initial hypotheses. Our results demonstrate that the current annotation scheme is a reliable representation of the data, and that the qTA component embedded in PENTAtrainer2 is effective in modelling F0 contours, even with less controlled data as input. We will argue for the usefulness of instrumental phonetic investigations in describing lesser-known languages, to enhance our understanding of the characterization of the prosodic systems of the world’s languages. Copyright © 2014 International Speech Communications Association.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)512-514
JournalSpeech Prosody
Publication statusPublished - 2014


Simard, C., Wegener, C., Lee, A., Chiu, F., & Youngberg, C. (2014). Savosavo word stress: A quantitative analysis. Speech Prosody, 2014, 512-514.


  • Prosody
  • Word stress
  • Pitch
  • Duration
  • Austronesian language
  • Oceanic language
  • Prosodic typology


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