Second European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Genova, Italy
September 24-26, 1991


Why Do Speakers Accent 'Given' Information ?

Merle Horne

Dept. of Linguistics, University of Lund, Lund, Sweden

The accenting of contextually 'given' information constitutes a problem for analyses that regard accents as correlating only with 'new' information. It will be shown that the accenting of 'given' information is explainable as resulting from general metrical well-formedness conditions on prosodic constituents. Units higher than the word are seen to obey the same metrical constraints that are present at the word level. Key Words: 'new information', 'given information', accentual phrase, intermediate phrase, tone-unit, prosodic structure, metrical structure, deaccenting, rhythm.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Horne, Merle (1991): "Why do speakers accent 'given' information ?", In EUROSPEECH-1991, 1279-1282.