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Cuadernos de Lingüística de El Colegio de México

versión On-line ISSN 2007-736X


VAPNARSKY, Valentina; BARRAS, Claude  y  BECQUEY, Cedric. Ujuum paayalchi’ ‘The sound of prayers’: New perspectives for the study of Maya ritual discourses, their vocalic qualities and variations. Cuad. Lingüíst. Col. Méx. [online]. 2018, vol.5, n.1, pp.470-505. ISSN 2007-736X.

In this paper, we present new tools and new perspectives for the study of the vocal properties of Yucatec Maya ritual speech. The methodology that we propose is the fruit of interdisciplinary work between linguistic anthropology and spoken language processing. This collaboration allowed us to develop systematic analysis of the vocal temporal structure of ritual enunciations in Yucatec Maya, with the creation of a program of automatic segmentation dedicated to this language. Automatic segmentations were used to measure tempo changes, durations of breath units as well as to examine their link with the structure of the ritual text. Thanks to these new tools, we can test hypotheses relative to the different levels of variability constitutive of Maya ritual speeches as well as to the performative role of vocal variations. Our ambition is twofold: to contribute to a more holistic and multimodal understanding of ritual action and speech and to provide new comparative data from an under-studied language for the broader understanding of rhythmicality of speech across languages and discourse genres.

Palabras llave : linguistic anthropology; Yucatec Maya; ritual discourse; automatic alignment; phonetic segmentation; tempo; speech rhythm; variation.

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