Speech Prosody 2006

Dresden, Germany
May 2-5, 2006

L-Tone Affixation: Evidence from German Dialects

Frank Kügler

Department of Linguistics, University of Potsdam, Germany

In a comparison of the tonal grammars of two German dialects, Swabian and Upper Saxon German, we observe a particular type of intonation contour that is similar in surface form, yet differs phonologically. Phonetically, the contour’s shape is risingfalling; phonologically, the Swabian contour reads as L*H +L 0%, and the one of Upper Saxon as L+ H*L 0%. Both contours are marked ones, and arise through a process that we call Laffixation, which is indicated by the ‘+’ diacritic. Both contours share a similar semantico-pragmatic meaning, i.e. they express narrow focus. An alternative interpretation of the postnuclear low tone in Swabian as a phrase accent is rejected.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Kügler, Frank (2006): "L-tone affixation: evidence from German dialects", In SP-2006, paper 075.