Definitely indefinites? Using acoustics as a diagnostic in st'át'imcets

Authors

  • Marion Caldecott Dept. of Linguistics, Totem Field Studios, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
  • Henry Davis Dept. of Linguistics, Totem Field Studios, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada

Keywords:

Forecasting, Sawing, Acoustic

Abstract

A study was carried out to test the hypothesis, which stated that St'a´t'imcets (Lillooet Salish) speakers, such as German speakers, will use prosody to distinguish between WH ('who saw whom') and indefinite readings of the WH ('who saw someone') phrases. If WH phrases in multiple WH questions are ambiguous between two readings, it is predicted that there will be an acoustic distinction between WH reading and the indefinite reading. If they are unambiguously indefinites, it is predicted that there are no acoustic distinctions. The results of the investigation support the hypothesis that St'a´t'imcets WH phrases are unambiguously indefinites. Speakers did not distinguish between them in embedded questions, and the differences found in matrix questions can be seen as a factor of methodological/metalinguistic complications.

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Published

2008-09-01

How to Cite

1.
Caldecott M, Davis H. Definitely indefinites? Using acoustics as a diagnostic in st’át’imcets. Canadian Acoustics [Internet]. 2008 Sep. 1 [cited 2021 Oct. 20];36(3):68-9. Available from: https://jcaa.caa-aca.ca/index.php/jcaa/article/view/2041

Issue

Section

Proceedings of the Acoustics Week in Canada