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De Bray, R. G. A. (1958) A study in Serbocroat accent and intonation. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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Serbocroat is a language the accent of which is a combination of expiratory stress, length and. a rising or falling tone. There are certain differences of accent between the language of educated people in Belgrade and Zagreb; and this is a study of the Belgrade variety of the language. Although the accents of individual words have been studied for a long time, no thorough study has yet been made of the sentence intonations of the language. The present work first sets out to define, by the broadest criteria, the main, sentence intonations of the language, and then to find out whether the individual word tones are always realized! in. the same way under different circumstances in various kinds of statements and questions. Certain words are selected as test words or 'inserenda', and these are then alternately placed in a selected set of statements and questions ('frames') initially, medially and finally, both prominent in pronunciation and unstressed. These sentences were recorded from the reading of a representative speaker on a tape recorder, and later the oscillograms of these recordings and special new pitch recordings ('tonograms') were made concurrently on the oscillograph and photographed with a high speed camera. The full text of the frames and their translations is various possibilities of spoken Serbian, The photographs of the 'tono-oscillograms' are then given with the part marked which is of special significance to us. Below each is given the corresponding text in the (very accurate) Serbian orthography, the analysis of the example and a report of observations Graphic and comparative summaries of these observations follow. The conclusions show that while the accents are often realized in a form agreeing with their traditional description, certain factors, viz, the superimposition of question intonation, final and initial position of the inserendum in the sentence, and its relative prominence cause different or contrary realizations for the four separate accents. These are differently affected by the above four factors, the two falling accents having a markedly different set, of phonetic exponents from the two rising accents. But each member of these two pairs differs from the other, because of their inherent differences of length. Thus for each accent one arrives at a different scatter of results with a given, set of frames and therefore it is true to say that though sometimes a certain pair of accenets may be realized identically, they are nevertheless distinct because of the different scatter of the overall results. The appendices consist of the tape-recordings, the photographs of the tono-oscillograms, translations of two important passages on the accents by Vuk Karadzic, and recordings of continuous passages by way of illustration, and translations of the quotations given from works in the Slavonic languages. A bibliography concludes the work.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:00

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