Intonation and stress patterns of Alawa and Roper Kriol
seminar presented by Dr Margaret Sharpe, Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Linguistics UNE
12pm Thursday 28 May 2015
Oorala Lecture Theatre, UNE
The ‘father’ of Australian linguistics, Arthur Capell, considered whether Alawa and its neighbour Mangarrayi were tone languages; they are not, but like Welsh have lilting intonation patterns. While some texts refer to Australian languages as ‘syllable timed’ this does not apply easily to Alawa or the other language I’ve worked on most extensively.
Like varieties of Australian English, many Alawa statements end with a ‘high rise’ intonation. Stress, spacing and change of pitch can mark changes of quoted speaker, and lengthening of a vowel can be used with grammatical markers to indicate an extended action or occurrence.