Speech Prosody 2002

Aix-en-Provence, France
April 11-13, 2002

A Dialogue Act Analysis of Rises in Australian English Map Task Dialogues

Janet Fletcher (1), Roger Wales (2), Lesley Stirling (1), Ilana Mushin (3)

(1) Department of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, University of Melbourne, Australia
(2) Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, La Trobe University, Australia
(3) Department of Linguistics, University of Sydney, Australia

Uptalk or rising intonation is a distinctive feature of Australian English. The distribution and discourse functions of simple and complex rising tunes were examined in a corpus of Australian English map task dialogues. Dialogue acts (classified using DAMSL) corresponding to information requests were consistently realized as high-onset high rises whereas low-onset high rises corresponded to a wider range of forward-looking communicative functions, such as statements and action directives, but were rarely associated with information requests. Two kinds of fall-rise tunes were also observed: low-range and high-range fall-rise. The high-range fallrises shared similar dialogue functions with statement high rises and were almost never associated with yes/no questions. Low-range fall-rises were associated with the same kinds of functions as simple low rises, such as acknowledgements and answers, i.e. backward-looking dialogue acts. The Australian English statement high rise (usually realized as a L* H-H% tune) is clearly not the same tune as a yes-no question rise in this variety, and is used, along with the high-range fall-rise, as a co-operative device in the map task.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Fletcher, Janet / Wales, Roger / Stirling, Lesley / Mushin, Ilana (2002): "A dialogue act analysis of rises in australian English map task dialogues", In SP-2002, 299-302.