Tone and its Acoustic Correlates in Punjabi


  • Tahir Ghafoor Malik
  • Abdul Qadir Khan


This study explores the phenomenon of tone and its acoustic correlates in Punjabi by means of acoustic and statistical investigation. Tone is considered to be a phonemic unit along with vowels and consonants in a tone language. The study is conducted in Lahore, the capital city of province Punjab of Pakistan. Ten speakers, including five male and five females, whose mother tongue is Punjabi were selected conveniently. The data comprised of three monosyllabic words of Punjabi with two tonal counterparts for each word; which means a total of nine Punjabi words were investigated. The words were written on flash cards along with their meaning and the speakers were asked to say each word for five times. The audio recordings of the words were made with the help of a good quality (WAV file) audio recorder. The recordings were made in a silent room. The data were analyzed with the help of Praat (Boersma and Weenink, 2014) and ProsodyPro (Xu, 2014). SPSS was also used and one-way ANOVA test was applied. The three traditional acoustic correlates of tone including fundamental frequency (F0), duration, and intensity, along with another acoustic correlate named “final velocity” were measured in the study. The results of the study suggest that there are three tones in Punjabi, namely High, Mid, and Low tones with respect to the acoustic correlates duration and final velocity. Whereas, the acoustic correlates F0 and intensity do not distinguish the three tones in Punjabi with statistical significance.