5th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Sydney, Australia
November 30 - December 4, 1998

On the Amount and Domain of Focal Lengthening in Swedish

Eva Strangert, Mattias Heldner

Department of Phonetics, Umeaa University, Sweden

Temporal effects of focus in Swedish were studied in short sentences with systematic variation of the length and prosodic pattern of target words in different syntactic positions. Generally, focus caused an average increase in word duration of about 25%. Variations of word length, stress, or word accent pattern did not produce any systematic effects on the amount of lengthening of the target word, but the lengthening varied considerably between speakers and different positions in the sentence. The most extensive lengthening occurred in combination with the insertion of a boundary after the word in focus in those cases when the word preceded a strong syntactic boundary. Within words, stressed syllables were lengthened most, and lengthening of a primary and following secondary stressed syllable was equal to that of a single primary stressed syllable. As unstressed syllables were also affected, the domain of focal lengthening is assumed to be the word.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Strangert, Eva / Heldner, Mattias (1998): "On the amount and domain of focal lengthening in Swedish", In ICSLP-1998, paper 0462.