Speech Prosody 2006

Dresden, Germany
May 2-5, 2006

Prosodic Realization of Information Structure Categories in Standard Chinese

Yiya Chen, Bettina Braun

Center of Language Studies Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Radboud University Nijmegen Nijmegen, The Netherlands

This paper investigates the prosodic realization of information structure categories in Standard Chinese. A number of proper names with different tonal combinations were elicited as a grammatical subject in five pragmatic contexts. Results show that both duration and F0 range of the tonal realizations were adjusted to signal the information structure categories (i.e. theme vs. rheme and background vs. focus). Rhemes consistently induced a longer duration and a more expanded F0 range than themes. Focus, compared to background, generally induced lengthening and F0 range expansion (the presence and magnitude of which, however, are dependent on the tonal structure of the proper names). Within the rheme focus condition, corrective rheme focus induced more expanded F0 range than normal rheme focus.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Chen, Yiya / Braun, Bettina (2006): "Prosodic realization of information structure categories in standard Chinese", In SP-2006, paper 051.