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The prosodic expression of focus, contrast and givenness : A production study of Hungarian

Genzel, Susanne; Ishihara, Shinichiro LU and Balázs, Surányi (2015) In Lingua 165 Part B. p.183-204
Abstract
This paper reports the results of a production experiment that explores the prosodic realization of focus in Hungarian, a language that is characterized by obligatory syntactic focus marking. Our study investigates narrow focus in sentences in which focus is unambiguously marked by syntactic means, comparing it to broad focus sentences. Potential independent effects of the salience (textual givenness) of the background of the narrow focus and the contrastiveness of the focus are controlled for and are also examined.
The results show that both continuous phonetic measures and categorical factors such as the distribution of contour types are affected by the focus-related factors, despite the presence of syntactic focus marking. The... (More)
This paper reports the results of a production experiment that explores the prosodic realization of focus in Hungarian, a language that is characterized by obligatory syntactic focus marking. Our study investigates narrow focus in sentences in which focus is unambiguously marked by syntactic means, comparing it to broad focus sentences. Potential independent effects of the salience (textual givenness) of the background of the narrow focus and the contrastiveness of the focus are controlled for and are also examined.
The results show that both continuous phonetic measures and categorical factors such as the distribution of contour types are affected by the focus-related factors, despite the presence of syntactic focus marking. The phonetic effects found are mostly parallel to those of typical prosodic focus marking languages like English. The prosodic prominence required of focus is realized through changes to the scaling and slope of F0 targets and contours. The asymmetric prominence relation between the focus and the background can be expressed not only by the phonetic marking of the prominence of the focused element, but also by the phonetic marking of the reduced prominence of the background. Furthermore, contrastiveness of focus and (textual) givenness of the background show independent phonetic effects, both of them affecting the realization of the background. These results are argued to shed light on alternative approaches to the information structural notion of contrastive focus and the relation between the notions of focus and givenness. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Hungarian, prosody, focus, background, givenness, contrast
in
Lingua
volume
165 Part B
pages
22 pages
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:84943579673
ISSN
0024-3841
DOI
10.1016/j.lingua.2014.07.010
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
34a7ef9e-e2d3-4b9a-9fd9-378ec40e65ba
date added to LUP
2017-01-05 06:45:56
date last changed
2017-08-13 05:02:42
@article{34a7ef9e-e2d3-4b9a-9fd9-378ec40e65ba,
  abstract     = {This paper reports the results of a production experiment that explores the prosodic realization of focus in Hungarian, a language that is characterized by obligatory syntactic focus marking. Our study investigates narrow focus in sentences in which focus is unambiguously marked by syntactic means, comparing it to broad focus sentences. Potential independent effects of the salience (textual givenness) of the background of the narrow focus and the contrastiveness of the focus are controlled for and are also examined.<br/>The results show that both continuous phonetic measures and categorical factors such as the distribution of contour types are affected by the focus-related factors, despite the presence of syntactic focus marking. The phonetic effects found are mostly parallel to those of typical prosodic focus marking languages like English. The prosodic prominence required of focus is realized through changes to the scaling and slope of F0 targets and contours. The asymmetric prominence relation between the focus and the background can be expressed not only by the phonetic marking of the prominence of the focused element, but also by the phonetic marking of the reduced prominence of the background. Furthermore, contrastiveness of focus and (textual) givenness of the background show independent phonetic effects, both of them affecting the realization of the background. These results are argued to shed light on alternative approaches to the information structural notion of contrastive focus and the relation between the notions of focus and givenness.},
  author       = {Genzel, Susanne and Ishihara, Shinichiro and Balázs, Surányi},
  issn         = {0024-3841},
  keyword      = {Hungarian,prosody,focus,background,givenness,contrast},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {183--204},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Lingua},
  title        = {The prosodic expression of focus, contrast and givenness : A production study of Hungarian},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lingua.2014.07.010},
  volume       = {165 Part B},
  year         = {2015},
}