LE Thi Xuyen

University Paris Diderot


Expressive prosody in Vietnamese


Parameters/factors such as intensity, sentence speed, melody and tones of voice account for the recognition of emotions in speech.
In Vietnamese the presence of distinctive tones goes against the modulation of intonation. Here we will study the implications that this phenomenon has in terms of pedagogy.
What are the constraints that a tonal language imposes on expressive intonation? Are we dealing with a loss of contents in the message or with compensatory phenomena? Is perception influenced by the semantic contents of the utterance? Does the expression of emotions and attitudes by means of intonation belong to psychological universals of language (hence it would be symbolical and motivated) or is it, partly or totally, conditioned by culture and society (hence it would be arbitrary)?