The position of clitics in Persian intonational structure

Vahideh Abolhasani Zadeh, University of Tehran/ Radboud University Nijmegen
Carlos Gussenhoven, Radboud University Nijmegen/ Queen Mary University of London
Mahmood Bijankhan, University of Tehran

Persian clitic groups differ from words. Most importantly, a pitch accent (L+)H* is associated with the word-final (i.e. base-final) syllable of clitic groups, but with the word-final syllable of words, meaning that clitics remain outside the domain of the word. The pitch accent marks the stress, but we found no independent durational or spectral differences between stressed and unstressed syllables. Interestingly, the intonational distinction between words and clitic groups remains intact in the strecth of speech after the focus. Unlike Germanic, Persian post-focal words are accented, though pronounced with reduced pitch range.