Browsing Senior Theses & Projects by Author "Ahn, Byron"
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- ItemIntonational Phonology in Colloquial Singaporean English(2016) Smemo, Kelly Banciella; Ahn, ByronOne of the primary goals of intonational phonology is to explore how meaning is assigned to an utterance through various suprasegmental features at the word level and above. This can be modeled using Autosegmental Metrical theory which creates a hierarchical prosodic structure for an utterance. How these different levels interact with each other is dependent on the language in question (Ladd, 2008). This thesis explores Colloquial Singaporean English (CSE), a language native to the city-state of Singapore. Standard English along with Mandarin Chinese, Malay and Tamil are recognized as the official languages of the area. This puts CSE in a stigmatized role, despite its use in almost all spheres of life, barring government policy and writing in general. The dialect differs greatly from standard forms with heavy borrowing from languages such as Mandarin, Hokkien and Tamil on phonetic, syntactic and semantic levels (Harada, 2009). Within CSE, there is contention on how to accurately describe its intonational system due to the lack of empirical data. One model, developed by Ng posits that each syllable of the word is assigned a specific tone based on it's place in the word (e.g. Ng, 2011). Another model, argued for by Chong, uses Autosegmental Metrical theory to break up utterances into accentual phrases (e.g. Chong, 2013). In order to test the merit of each model, I collected novel data from two consultants focusing on target words of varying syllable length. I then com pared the two models using this data. Ng's Model failed to accurately portray most of the data collected. Chong's Model was more successful but in need of modification. I proposed two modifications, one that would treat prefixes as their own prosodic unit (in line with the existing findings on the prosodic behavior of prefixes) and another that allowed for multiple prosodic units that determine intonational contours within a multisyllabic word greater than four syllables.