Speech Prosody 2002
This paper shows that utterance-medial parentheticals elicited in controlled conditions in French have a typical tonal template, in which pitch is scaled down to some extent in non-intonational phrase-final syllables. Downscaling is implemented primarily as pitch register lowering, while pitch range compression seems speaker-dependent. Results also show remarkable inter-speaker consistency in lowering pitch in edge syllables of minor prosodic units. It is suggested that parentheticals represent a case of extreme backgrounding of information, which leads to a more uniform treatment of otherwise gradient pitch range variations.
Bibliographic reference. Fagyal, Zsuzsanna (2002): "Tonal template for background information: the scaling of pitch in utterance-medial parentheticals in French", In SP-2002, 279-282.