Speech Rhythm in Luang Phrabang Lao: Comparison between the ISO and RM Methods

  • นันทนา รณเกียรติ Department of English and Linguistics, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Thammasat University
  • วริษา โอสถานนท์ Department of English and Linguistics, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Thammasat University
  • อภิญญา ห่านตระกูล Department of English, Faculty of Liberal Arts, University of Phayao
Keywords: speech rhythm, Laos, Luang Phrabang Lao, speech rhythm analyzing methods, efficiency of speech rhythm analyzing methods

Abstract

Speech rhythm is one of the significant prosodic features in language.  It refers to rhythmic patterns of utterances which occur at regular intervals of time.  The objectives of the present study are twofold. First, it examines the structure of the speech rhythm in Luang Phrabang Lao, applying both the Isochrony (ISO) method and the Rhythmic Metrics (RM) method. Second, both the ISO and the RM methods are compared to investigate their reliability and validity. The hypotheses of this study are that (1) Luang Phrabang Lao is a stress-timed language and (2) the application of the ISO and the RM methods would lead to similar conclusions about the type of speech rhythm in Luang Phrabang Lao. The present study shows that Luang Phrabang Lao exhibits syllable-timed patterns with respect to the ISO method. Nevertheless, the RM method suggests that this Laotian variety belongs to a stress-timed language group. Because of these contrary results, it is hard to address the question as to whether Luang Phrabang Lao is stress-timed or syllable-timed in a speech rhythm category. Instead of placing Luang Phrabang Lao into a precise rhythm type, therefore, we examined the speech rhythms of other languages previously proposed and compared them with Luang Phrabang Lao in our current study. We found that the speech rhythm in Luang Phrabang Lao exhibits similar rhythmic patterns as Thai as indicated in previous literature (e.g. Grabe and Low 2002; ญาณินท์ สวนะคุณานนท์ [Yanin Sawanakunanon] 2555; อภิญญา ห่านตระกูล [Apinya Hantrakul] 2558). The finding affirms that Thai and Lao languages are members of the same language family, Tai. Additionally, this study shows that the RM method is more valid and reliable for a speech rhythm analysis than the ISO method due to its less subjective methodology.

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References

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Published
2018-06-27
How to Cite
รณเกียรติน., โอสถานนท์ว., & ห่านตระกูลอ. (2018). Speech Rhythm in Luang Phrabang Lao: Comparison between the ISO and RM Methods. Journal of Letters, 47(1), 39-91. Retrieved from https://so03.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/jletters/article/view/130931