Working paper Open Access

Phonetic Correlates of Primary and Secondary Stress in Indonesian: A Preliminary Study

Adisasmito-Smith, Niken; Cohn, Abigail C.

We report here on a preliminary instrumental analysis of word stress in Indonesian, in order to
broaden our cross-linguistic understanding of the phonetic properties of stress and to assess
observations in the phonological literature about Indonesian stress based on impressionistic

In this study, reiterant speech of two speakers was used to investigate the contributions of FO, duration, and intensity as acoustic correlates of both primary and secondary word stress in Indonesian. Once the technique of reiterant speech was shown to be reliable for these particular speakers, acoustic correlates of both primary and secondary were studied, by analyzing the reiterant speech patterns of two- to five-syllable words.

It was found in all cases that the penult showed the peak FO and greatest intensity. Final syllables
exhibited consistently low FO and intensity, but were similar in duration to penults, showing final lengthening. 'This study highlights the importance of expanding the range of languages investigated to reach a full understanding of the phonetic realization of both primary and secondary stress, while providing further evidence of the reliability of the technique of reiterant speech.

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