Word stress at utterance-final position: An acoustic study on Hebrew read sentences

Vered Silber-Varod*, Noam Amir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigates the realization of the two most common word-level stress patterns in Hebrew, final and penultimate, at utterance-final position. Twenty-six disyllabic words that form minimal pairs, which differ only in their stress pattern, were embedded in 52 sentences. The mean values of three acoustic parameters-duration, F0, and intensity-were measured for vowels of the target words. Findings show that duration is significantly longer at stressed vowels, similar to previous findings on words at utterance-mid position. Lower intensity is assigned to the utterance-final vowels regardless of the stress pattern, but the degree of lowering does depend on the stress pattern. Finally, lower F0 values are found in the utterance-final vowels, but the degree of lowering is similar to both stress patterns. We conclude that duration is the main cue at the prosodic word level, while F0 is used by Hebrew speakers to cue higher prosodic units.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-60
Number of pages28
JournalBrill's Journal of Afroasiatic Languages and Linguistics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022


  • acoustic analysis
  • prosodic cues
  • spoken Hebrew
  • utterance-final position
  • word stress


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