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Some preliminary observations on prosody and information structure in Austronesian languages of Indonesia and East Timor

Nikolaus P. Himmelmann


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    <subfield code="a">&lt;p&gt;This chapter provides a brief overview of what is known about prosody and information&lt;br&gt;
structure in the Austronesian languages of Indonesia and East Timor. It emphasizes the fact&lt;br&gt;
that the prosodic systems found in these languages appear to differ substantially from the&lt;br&gt;
better known systems found in languages such as English and German and finds that to date&lt;br&gt;
there is little evidence that prosody plays a major role in conveying information-structural&lt;br&gt;
distinctions. Of major import in this regard appears to be the fact that many Austronesian&lt;br&gt;
languages in the area appear to lack lexical stress as well as lexical tone. Consequently,&lt;br&gt;
intonational phrases lack (postlexical) pitch accents, the tonal inventory being restricted to&lt;br&gt;
a smallish number of edge tone combinations on the intonational phrase level plus a single&lt;br&gt;
boundary tone on the level of intermediate phrases. The chapter concludes with a brief&lt;br&gt;
discussion of a major exception to these generalisations, i.e. the group of (Austronesian)&lt;br&gt;
West New Guinea languages that show a bewildering variety of tonal and stress-related&lt;br&gt;
distinctions.&lt;/p&gt;</subfield>
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    <subfield code="t">Perspectives on information structure in Austronesian languages</subfield>
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