Typology of Paiwan Interrogative Prosody

Chun-Mei Chen, National Chung Hsing University

This paper investigates the phonetic correlates of interrogative prosodic features in Paiwan, an Austronesian language spoken in Taiwan. An attempt has been made to capture the typology of the Paiwan interrogative prosody. The interrogative sentence in Paiwan consists of one or more prosodic words which are usually larger than a verb stem. Yes/no, tag and alternative questions are characteristically marked by a high final boundary tone, whereas WH-questions are realized with a low final boundary tone. It is concluded that the typology of interrogative prosody in Paiwan lies in the sentence-level intonation structure. Stress or word-level pragmatic accent does not affect the high tone alignment of the interrogative sentences in Paiwan.