Pitch accent scaling on given, new and focused constituents in German

  • The influence of information structure on tonal scaling in German is examined experimentally. Eighteen speakers uttered a total of 2277 sentences of the same syntactic structure, but with a varying number of constituents, word order and focus-given structure. The quantified results for German support findings for other Germanic languages that the scaling of high tones, and thus the entire melodic pattern, is influenced by information structure. Narrow focus raised the high tones of pitch accents, while givenness lowered them in prenuclear position and canceled them out postnuclearly. The effects of focus and givenness are calculated against all-new sentences as a baseline, which we expected to be characterized by downstep, a significantly lower scaling of high tones as compared to declination. The results further show that information structure alone cannot account for all variations. We therefore assume that dissimilatory tonal effects play a crucial role in the tonal scaling of German. The effects consist of final f0 drop, a steep fThe influence of information structure on tonal scaling in German is examined experimentally. Eighteen speakers uttered a total of 2277 sentences of the same syntactic structure, but with a varying number of constituents, word order and focus-given structure. The quantified results for German support findings for other Germanic languages that the scaling of high tones, and thus the entire melodic pattern, is influenced by information structure. Narrow focus raised the high tones of pitch accents, while givenness lowered them in prenuclear position and canceled them out postnuclearly. The effects of focus and givenness are calculated against all-new sentences as a baseline, which we expected to be characterized by downstep, a significantly lower scaling of high tones as compared to declination. The results further show that information structure alone cannot account for all variations. We therefore assume that dissimilatory tonal effects play a crucial role in the tonal scaling of German. The effects consist of final f0 drop, a steep fall from a raised high tone to the bottom line of the speaker, H-raising before a low tone, and H-lowering before a raised high tone. No correlation between word order and tone scaling could be established. 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Caroline Féry, Frank Kügler
URN:urn:nbn:de:kobv:517-opus-46091
Document Type:Postprint
Language:English
Date of Publication (online):2010/08/27
Year of Completion:2008
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Release Date:2010/08/27
Tag:Contrastive stress; intonation
Source:Journal of phonetics. - 36 (2008), 4, S. 680 - 703, DOI: 10.1016/j.wocn.2008.05.001
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Linguistik / Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 40 Sprache / 400 Sprache
Licence (German):License LogoKeine Nutzungslizenz vergeben - es gilt das deutsche Urheberrecht
Notes extern:
The article was originally published by Elsevier:
Journal of Phonetics. - 36 (2008), S. 680-703
ISSN 0095-4470
DOI 10.1016/j.wocn.2008.05.001