Manusya, Journal of Humanities

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This study investigates whether rhythmic units influence tonal realizations in Thai connected speech. The informants are three female radio announcers, 26 and 30 years of age. Their speech was recorded prior to informing them about the study. They were then asked to read two sets of ton checklists: unchecked and checked syllables. For each tone, five tokens were selected for each following context: (1) a salient syllable in one-syllable, two-syllable, and three-syllable rhythmic units, and (2) a weak syllable in a two-syllable rhythmic unit, the first weak syllable and the second weak syllable in a three-syllable rhythmic unit. The fundamental frequency values of all of the tokens were analyzed and recorded using WINCECIL and EXCEL. Line graphs were drawn to show the realization of different tones in different contexts. WINPSY 0602 2000 (School of Psychology, University of New South Wales) was used to analyze whether the variation between ton shapes is statistically significant. The different are statistically significant when the tonal characteristics of the salient (S1, S2, S3) and of the weak (W2, W3/1, W3/2) are compared with the ones of the citation form (CF). However, the F0 value of different types of stressed or salient syllables do not differ from each other in a significant way for level tones and so unstressed or weak syllables. These findings suggest that in studying tonal variation, rhythm only influence contour tones.

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