ITRW on Experimental Linguistics

Athens, Greece
August 28-30, 2006

Characteristics of Pre-Nuclear Pitch Accents in Statements and Yes-No Questions in Greek

Mary Baltazani

Department of Linguistics, University of Ioannina, Greece

In this paper I present the results of a production experiment testing the hypothesis that L*+H pre-nuclear pitch accents are indistinguishable in statements and questions in Greek. Results show that the L and the H tones of the L*+H pitch accent have different patterns of alignment in polar and in statements. These results suggest that the pitch accents are realized differently in the two utterance types under investigation. It remains to be explored, through perception experiments, whether the phonetic differences that were found are salient enough for listeners to distinguish between statements and questions. If they are, then the prenuclear pitch accents in statements and those in polar questions belong to different phonological categories.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Baltazani, Mary (2006): "Characteristics of pre-nuclear pitch accents in statements and yes-no questions in Greek", In ExLing-2006, 81-84.