THE PROSODIC SISTEM OF PRAŽNICA

Author:
Zdravka Biočina, Gordana Varošanec-Škarić, Iva Bašić
Email:
zbiocina@windowslive.com, gvarosan@ffzg.hr, ibasic@ffzg.hr
Summary
This paper examines the prosodic system of the Čakavian dialect of Pražnica. Previous studies of Čakavian dialects spoken on the island of Brač have revealed the existence of a classic Čakavian three-accent system, consisting of a short-falling accent, a longfalling accent, and an acute, as well as pre-accentual length. This paper does not intend to question previous studies of the Brač local dialects, because these have been based mainly on listeners’ perceptions, but it intends to demonstrate and describe the complex prosodic system of the dialect of Pražnica through acoustic analysis. Furthermore, the paper aims to find out if older speakers have preserved a more archaic prosodic system in comparison with groups of younger and middle-aged speakers. For this purpose, 15 speakers were recorded and divided into groups according to age and gender. The criteria for selecting the speakers were that they had to be originally from Pražnica, that they had lived there for the last 10 years, and that both of their parents were from Pražnica. The material for recording consisted of an open list of topics for spontaneous spoken utterance. Words with the least influence of sentence intonation on the lexical tone were chosen for acoustic analysis in Praat. Frequency direction, frequency range, and duration as well as the tone level of the post-accented syllable were calculated and examined for vowels with different accents and phonological quantity. The results of the acoustic analysis show that the speakers from Pražnica, apart from the expected three Čakavian accents and pre-accentual length, also have short-rising and long-rising accents and post-accentual length. No major differences were found in the prosodic system in terms of age or gender, except for greater tone differentiation among female speakers.
Key words
Čakavian dialect; prosody; Pražnica; sociophonetics; acoustic analysis
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