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Intrinsic vowel pitch in Hamont Dutch: evidence for IF0 reduction in the lower pitch range

Verhoeven, J. ORCID: 0000-0002-0738-8517 & Connell, B. (2023). Intrinsic vowel pitch in Hamont Dutch: evidence for IF0 reduction in the lower pitch range. Journal of the International Phonetic Association, pp. 1-18. doi: 10.1017/s0025100323000129


This study investigated Intrinsic Vowel Pitch (If0) in the Belgian Limburg dialect of Hamont. Its main aim was to investigate a potential correlation between If0 and f0, which has been attested in previous research, especially on contour tone languages. The Hamont dialect is particularly interesting because it has a pitch accent distinction, but also because the vowel system has a high and low vowel contrast in the front and the back dimension of the vowel space.

The results of this study are generally compatible with If0 research on many languages but adds some new insights. Firstly, it was found that If0 in the Hamont dialect is comparatively large (1.97 ST). Secondly, it was confirmed that the front-back distinction in vowel articulation has no significant effect on If0. Thirdly, when If0 is expressed on a semitone scale, no significant differences in If0 were found between male and female speakers of the dialect.

The most important finding of the paper is the significant positive correlation between f0 and If0 in that If0 is smaller in the lower pitch range and bigger in the higher pitch range. This phenomenon in Hamont Dutch is much the same to what is observed in contour tone languages that have been examined for this. There are indications that a similar tendency exists in register tone languages and intonation languages. Although the cause of this progressive If0 reduction is not entirely clear, its wide distribution across prosodic systems seems to point towards a universal tendency.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution and reproduction, provided the original article is properly cited.
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Language & Communication Science
SWORD Depositor:
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