Ninth International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Pittsburgh, PA, USA
September 17-21, 2006

Word Order and Tonal Shape in the Production of Focus in Short Finnish Utterances

Martti Vainio (1), Juhani Järvikivi (2), Stefan Werner (3)

(1) University of Helsinki, Finland; (2) University of Turku, Finland; (3) University of Joensuu, Finland

This paper presents results from a study on the production of Finnish prosody. The effect of word order and the tonal shape in the production of Finnish prosody was studied as produced by 8 native Finnish speakers. Predictions formulated with regard to results from an earlier study pertaining to the perception of prominence were tested. These predictions had to do with the tonal shape of the utterances in the form of a flat hat pattern and the effect of word order on the so called top-line declination within an adverbial phrase in the utterances. The results from the experiment give support to the following claims: the temporal domain of prosodic focus is the whole utterance, word order reversal from unmarked to marked has an effect on the production of prosody, and the production of the tonal aspects of focus in Finnish follows a basic flat hat pattern. That is the prominence of a word can be produced by an f0 rise or a fall, depending on the location of the word in an utterance. The basic accentual shape of a Finnish word is then not a pointed rise/fall hat shape as claimed before since it can vary depending on the syllable structure and the position within an utterance.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Vainio, Martti / Järvikivi, Juhani / Werner, Stefan (2006): "Word order and tonal shape in the production of focus in short Finnish utterances", In INTERSPEECH-2006, paper 1595-Mon3A3O.6.