Cantonese Tones and Break Indices

We are currently developing a set of ToBI framework conventions for Cantonese. Our intention is to start with conventions that are a fairly accurate description of the Hong Kong variety, and then incrementally add sub-conventions that can apply to other varieties, such as the various regional dialects of the Yue speaking area of China and contact varieties that are developing in places such as Vancouver.

We presented a paper on this development work at the satellite workshop on "Intonation: Models and ToBI Labeling" at ICPhS99. The written version of this paper will appear in the book that Sun-Ah Jun has edited from selected presentations at that workshop:

Wong, W. Y. P., Chan, M. K. M., & Beckman, M. E. (in press). An Autosegmental-Metrical analysis and prosodic annotation conventions for Cantonese. To appear in S.-A. Jun, ed., Prosodic Models and Transcription: Towards Prosodic Typology. Oxford University Press.

Click here to get a preprint of the paper and the accompanying sound files.

We are currently organizing a focus group on Cantonese for the satelite workshop that Paul Warren is organizing on Intonation in Language Varieties -- AM Approaches to be held at ICPhS2003 in Barcelona on Sunday, 3 August 2003. If you would like to join this focus group, please contact Peggy Wong at:

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