Prosody meets pragmatics : a production study on German verb-first sentences

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KLESSA, Katarzyna, ed. and others. Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018. Baixas, France: ISCA, 2018, pp. 418-422. eISSN 2333-2042. Available under: doi: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-85
Zusammenfassung

This study investigates the prosodic differences of German string-identical verb-first sentences with different pragmatic meanings, i.e. exclamatives (EX: Kann die Lene malen! ‘Can Lene paint!’), rhetorical questions (RQ: Kann die Lene malen?!) and information-seeking questions (ISQ: Kann die Lene malen?). We report on whether and how the pragmatic distinction is marked in the speech signal. The main results show that EXs and ISQs for the most part hold opposing feature characteristics whereas the prosodic characteristics of RQs seem to lie in-between. EXs are mainly realized with a falling intonation contour, ISQs with a rising one and RQs with a plateau contour. In terms of the number of prenuclear pitch accents, RQs are placed in-between EXs with most accents and ISQs with fewest accents. Similarly, regarding the pitch range of the prenuclear accents: RQs are placed between EXs (largest expansion) and ISQs (smallest expansion). A similar picture arises regarding duration with EXs showing the longest and ISQs the shortest constituent durations. We assume two scales for the classification of the pragmatic function of verb-first sentences with regard to prosody: an interrogativity scale and a scale of emphasis. In both scales, RQs are placed between the two extremes (EXs and ISQs).

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Fachgebiet (DDC)
400 Sprachwissenschaft, Linguistik
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prosody, intonation, pragmatics, German
Konferenz
9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018, 13. Juni 2018 - 16. Juni 2018, Poznan, Poland
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Zitieren
ISO 690WOCHNER, Daniela, Nicole DEHÉ, 2018. Prosody meets pragmatics : a production study on German verb-first sentences. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018. Poznan, Poland, 13. Juni 2018 - 16. Juni 2018. In: KLESSA, Katarzyna, ed. and others. Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018. Baixas, France: ISCA, 2018, pp. 418-422. eISSN 2333-2042. Available under: doi: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-85
BibTex
@inproceedings{Wochner2018-06-13Proso-42623,
  year={2018},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-85},
  title={Prosody meets pragmatics : a production study on German verb-first sentences},
  publisher={ISCA},
  address={Baixas, France},
  booktitle={Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018},
  pages={418--422},
  editor={Klessa, Katarzyna},
  author={Wochner, Daniela and Dehé, Nicole}
}
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