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Between Fall and Fall-Rise : Substance-Function Relations in German Phrase-Final Intonation Contours

Ambrazaitis, Gilbert LU (2005) In Phonetica 62(2-4). p.196-214
Abstract
This study investigates an intonation contour of German whose status has not been established yet: a globally falling contour with a slight rise at the very end of the phrase (FSR). The contour may be said to lie on a phonetic continuum between falling (F) and falling-rising (FR) contours. It is hypothesized that F, FR and FSR differ with respect to their communicative functions: F is terminal, FR is non-terminal, and FSR is pseudo-terminal, respectively. The hypotheses were tested in two steps. First, measurements in a labelled corpus of spontaneous speech provided the necessary background information on the phonetics of the contours. In the second step, the general hypothesis was approached in a perceptual experiment using the paradigm... (More)
This study investigates an intonation contour of German whose status has not been established yet: a globally falling contour with a slight rise at the very end of the phrase (FSR). The contour may be said to lie on a phonetic continuum between falling (F) and falling-rising (FR) contours. It is hypothesized that F, FR and FSR differ with respect to their communicative functions: F is terminal, FR is non-terminal, and FSR is pseudo-terminal, respectively. The hypotheses were tested in two steps. First, measurements in a labelled corpus of spontaneous speech provided the necessary background information on the phonetics of the contours. In the second step, the general hypothesis was approached in a perceptual experiment using the paradigm of a semantic differential: 49 listeners judged 17 systematically generated stimuli on nine semantic scales, such as ‘impolite/polite’. The hypotheses were generally confirmed. Both F and FSR were associated with a conclusive statement, while FR was more likely to be judged as marking a question. FSR differs from F in that it does not express features such as categoricalness, dominance or impoliteness. The results are interpreted as an instance of the frequency code: the addition of a slight rise means avoidance of extremely low F0; the functional consequence is a reduction of communicated dominance. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
intonation, prosody, fall-rise, phrase-final, semantic differential, pseudo-terminal, terminal, frequency code, dominance
in
Phonetica
volume
62
issue
2-4
pages
19 pages
publisher
Karger
external identifiers
  • wos:000234303100010
  • scopus:29744464107
ISSN
1423-0321
DOI
10.1159/000090098
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
95339495-61a7-40c0-b172-073686446bb8 (old id 157763)
date added to LUP
2007-07-27 14:16:52
date last changed
2017-01-01 04:43:37
@article{95339495-61a7-40c0-b172-073686446bb8,
  abstract     = {This study investigates an intonation contour of German whose status has not been established yet: a globally falling contour with a slight rise at the very end of the phrase (FSR). The contour may be said to lie on a phonetic continuum between falling (F) and falling-rising (FR) contours. It is hypothesized that F, FR and FSR differ with respect to their communicative functions: F is terminal, FR is non-terminal, and FSR is pseudo-terminal, respectively. The hypotheses were tested in two steps. First, measurements in a labelled corpus of spontaneous speech provided the necessary background information on the phonetics of the contours. In the second step, the general hypothesis was approached in a perceptual experiment using the paradigm of a semantic differential: 49 listeners judged 17 systematically generated stimuli on nine semantic scales, such as ‘impolite/polite’. The hypotheses were generally confirmed. Both F and FSR were associated with a conclusive statement, while FR was more likely to be judged as marking a question. FSR differs from F in that it does not express features such as categoricalness, dominance or impoliteness. The results are interpreted as an instance of the frequency code: the addition of a slight rise means avoidance of extremely low F0; the functional consequence is a reduction of communicated dominance.},
  author       = {Ambrazaitis, Gilbert},
  issn         = {1423-0321},
  keyword      = {intonation,prosody,fall-rise,phrase-final,semantic differential,pseudo-terminal,terminal,frequency code,dominance},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2-4},
  pages        = {196--214},
  publisher    = {Karger},
  series       = {Phonetica},
  title        = {Between Fall and Fall-Rise : Substance-Function Relations in German Phrase-Final Intonation Contours},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000090098},
  volume       = {62},
  year         = {2005},
}