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Journal Article

Word accent and its manifestation in Awetí


Drude,  Sebastian
The Language Archive, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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Drude, S. (2011). Word accent and its manifestation in Awetí. Amerindia, 35, 7-40.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-8A36-B
This paper describes the distribution and phonetic properties of accentuation of word forms in Awetí, a Tupian language spoken by ca. 150 people in central Brazil in the Upper Xingu area. Awetí does not belong to, but is arguably the closest relative of the better known Tupí-Guaraní subfamily, the largest branch of the Tupí stock. After a short overview over the word classes and general phonotactics of Awetí (sec-tion 2), we briefly discuss the notion ‘word accent’ and show that, in Awetí, it is generally located on the last syllable of the stem in morphologically simple forms (section 3). We then discuss regular and isolated exceptions to this rule (section 4). In section 5, we describe the distribution of the word accent when inflectional or deriva-tional suffixes are present – usually, the word accent of the word form with suffixes continues to be on the last syllable of the stem. After this descriptive part, we present a preliminary study of the acoustic-phonetic details of the manifestation of the word accent, observing word forms in isolation (section 6) and in different syntactic con-texts (section 7). The results are briefly summarized in the conclusion (section 8)