ITRW on Experimental Linguistics

Athens, Greece
August 28-30, 2006

Melodic Contours of Yes/No Questions in Brazilian Portuguese

João Antônio de Moraes

Faculdade de Letras, Universidade Federal do Rio do Janeiro/CNPq, Brazil

In this paper I describe four melodic patterns which can occur in the yes/no question, namely: i) the final rise pattern, typical of the unmarked polarity yes/no question, ii) the internal rise pattern, correlated with positive polarity questions, iii) the delayed rise pattern, indicating negative polarity, i.e. the speaker’s discordance with the sentence propositional content, and iv) the double rise pattern, found in rhetorical yes/no questions and requests. The relevance of phonological representation is discussed on the grounds of auditory tests with synthesized speech.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Moraes, João Antônio de (2006): "Melodic contours of yes/no questions in Brazilian Portuguese", In ExLing-2006, 117-120.