This paper outlines some facts of Tagalog prosody. The basic pitch excursions of Tagalog turn out to be remarkably similar to those of Irish, as described by Elfner (2012; 2015). After discussing in some detail the properties of Tagalog pitch rises and falls, and their sensitivity to the position of stress and of prosodic word boundaries, I make an observation about the interaction of word order with pitch peak height. It turns out that objects are generally higher-pitched than subjects would be in the same position, both in VOS and in VSO order; interestingly, this generalization is blind to the “Philippine-style voice” system, and makes reference only to thematic subjects and objects. I speculate that this generalization represents the Tagalog expression of nuclear stress: objects, no matter where they are in the Tagalog sentence, receive nuclear stress, realized as a heightened pitch peak.
This article is part of Special Collection: Prosody and Constituent Structure
Tagalog, scrambling, prosody, Match Theory, nuclear stress, Irish
How to Cite
Richards, N., (2017) “Some notes on Tagalog prosody and scrambling”, Glossa a journal of general linguistics 2(1): 21. doi: https://doi.org/10.5334/gjgl.252