Modelling the Interaction of Intonation and Lexical Tone in Vietnamese

Kieu-Phuong Ha, Martine Grice, IfL Phonetik

Analysis of telephone conversations within the framework of Conversation Analysis reveals that Vietnamese makes pragmatic use of intonational tones. Pitch contours on one-word utterances in backchannels, requests for information, turn exits and repair initiations are compared. Target words bear one of two lexical tones: the low-level tone "thanh huyên" or the high-level tone "thanh ngang". Results shed light on the interaction between these tones and those used for signalling communicative functions (intonation). An autosegmental analysis of this interaction is provided.