Session Prosody I:

Prosody I: Dialect Intonation

Type: oral
Chair: Gösta Bruce
Date: Monday - August 06, 2007
Time: 11:00
Room: 1 (Red)


Prosody I-1 Intonational and temporal features of Swiss German
Adrian Leemann, Institut für Sprachwissenschaft, Universität Bern
Beat Siebenhaar, Institut für Sprachwissenschaft, Universität Bern
Paper File
  The study examines the timing of 10 speakers and the intonation of 6 speakers of two Swiss German dialects. Results show that the relative mean duration of segments and final lengthening are only similar in the two dialects observed. A crucial difference is that Valais speakers generally speak at a faster rate. In terms of intonation, the Valais produce more accent commands than the Bernese; largely due to stressing more lexical words than the Valais. Phrase accents are fairly weak as opposed to standard German. The study shows phonetically motivated differences in Swiss German dialectal prosody.
Prosody I-2 Effects of dialect and context in the realisation of German prenuclear accents
Bettina Braun, Max-Planck-Instute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen
Paper File
  We investigated whether alignment differences reported for Southern and Northern German speakers (Southerners align peaks in prenuclear accents later than Northerners) are carried over to the production of pragmatic contrast. Therefore, the realization of non-contrastive theme accents is compared with those in contrastive theme-rheme pairs such as 'Sam rented a truck and Johanna rented a car.' We found that when producing this 'double-contrast', speakers mark contrast both phonetically by delaying and rising the peak of the theme accent ('Johanna') and/or phonologically by a change in rheme accent type. The effect of dialect is complex: Only in non-contrastive contexts produced with a high rheme accent Southerners align peaks later than Northerners. Further, peak delay as a means to signal contrast is not used uniformly by the two varieties. Dialect clearly affects the realization of prenuclear accents but its effect is conditioned by pragmatic and intonational context.
Martha Dalton, Trinity College Dublin
Ailbhe Ní Chasaide, Trinity College Dublin
Paper File
  In this paper the distribution of nuclear accents in declaratives of four major dialects of Irish is described. The findings show considerable variation, particular between northern and southern dialects. Speakers of the northern dialect of Donegal show a propensity for rising nuclear accents (L*+H) in declaratives, while speakers of the other, more southern, dialects of Mayo, South Connaught and Kerry Irish show a preference for falling nuclear (H*+L) accents. The findings are compared with results for varieties of English.

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