Word accent and intonation in Baltic

José I. Hualde, Tomas Riad

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


We examine the realization of word accent contrasts in Standard Latvian and East Aukštaitian Lithuanian across intonational contexts. In our Latvian data the contrast is manifested as level vs. falling pitch in most contexts, in addition to a durational difference. In Aukštaitian Lithuanian, instead, differences in vowel quality and duration cue the lexical contrast in the nuclei that we examine. While Latvian retains a tonal contrast, in Aukštaitian Lithuanian it has been replaced with a combined segmental/quantitative contrast, where the so-called circumflex tone corresponds to relatively shorter duration and, in the case of diphthongs, centralized quality in the first half. We discuss the implications of these findings for further typological work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)668-672
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the International Conference on Speech Prosody
StatePublished - 2014
Event7th International Conference on Speech Prosody, SP 2014 - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: May 20 2014May 23 2014


  • Latvian
  • Lithuanian
  • Prosody
  • Word accent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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