Tonal effects on vowel duration in Bangkok Thai

Francesco Burroni, Teerawee Sukanchanon

Wednesday, December 14th, 2022, 2pm – 2.30pm


We investigated tonal effects on vowel duration in two experiments with 37 speakers of Bangkok Thai. For long vowels in open syllables, the pattern of tonal effects on vowel duration is {Mid,Low} < {Falling,High,Rising}; for closed syllables with short vowels and sonorant codas, the pattern is {Rising} < {Mid,Low} < {High} < {Falling}. Our results do not align with hypothesized universal patterns or with previous reports on Bangkok Thai. Our findings are better understood by referring to f0 control mechanisms. Finally, we found that the tonal effects are mediated by syllable structure in line with diachronic changes in vowel length.