This preliminary instrumental study examines the correlation between fundamental frequency (F0) and phonemic vowel height to determine the extent to which Shona vowels have characteristic or intrinsic F0 (iF0). F0 measures are made for the vowels /i, u, e, o, a/ in meaningful words, controlling for tone and phrasal context. Statistical analyses comparing all vowels confirm the existence, to the extent of this study, of iF0. This suggests that iF0 variation scales with vowel height.
Selected Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference on African Linguistics: Linguistic Research and Languages in Africa
edited by Akinloye Ojo and Lioba Moshi
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