Automatic categorization of prosodic contours in Bardi

Sarah Babinski, Claire Bowern


This study presents preliminary results of an automated prosodic clustering analysis of Bardi, a Nyulnyulan language from Northern Australia, using methods from Kaland (2021). Previous work on Bardi prosody identified several functions of boundary tones and two main phrase types, but stressed that findings were preliminary. Here we extend that work and show evidence for several additional phrase types, as well as confirming the overall accuracy of automated clustering. This work adds to the prosodic typology of Australian languages (cf. Fletcher et al. 2002) and provides further evidence for the functions of intonation beyond demarcation in these languages. When coupled with evaluation by a knowledgeable researcher, this automated approach can greatly expedite prosodic analysis on a large scale and expand our typology of prosodic systems.


prosody; Australian languages; linguistic fieldwork; clustering; language technology

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Copyright (c) 2022 Sarah Babinski, Claire Bowern

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