Q'eqchi' is one of many Mayan languages spoken in Guatemala, C.A. This study provides the first Tone Break and Indices (ToBI) transcription system (Silverman et al., 1992) labeling of Q'eqchi' within the Autosegmental-Metrical (AM) model of intonation (Liberman, 1975; Pierrehumbert, 1980; Ladd, 1996). As an exploratory study into the basic intonation patterns of the language, observations were made on a variety of phenomenon relating to the intonational structure and contour pattern of the language. Three native male speakers of Q'eqchi' each provided 75 spoken sentences designed to best observe the basic patterns of intonation in the language. Each spoken utterance was analyzed through the labeling of pitch accents, phrase accents, and boundary tones in accordance with ToBI transcription guidelines (Beckman & Hirschberg, 1994; Beckman & Elam, 1997). The study reinforces previous observation on the stress pattern in the language, identifies the pitch accents and boundary tones which best describe the behavior of the intonational contour of the Q'eqchi' speakers, and proves the existence of prosodic phrases which dictate the intonational patterns of speech. In addition, the different patterns observed in declarative, imperative, and interrogative sentences are exemplified and discussed along with other phenomenon observed in the spoken data.
College and Department
Humanities; Linguistics and English Language
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Wagner, Karl Olaw Christian, "An Intonational Description of Mayan Q'eqchi'" (2014). Theses and Dissertations. 4151.
Q'eqchi', ToBI, intonation, pitch