Speech Prosody 2010

Chicago, IL, USA
May 10-14, 2010

Shaping Phrase-Final Rising Intonation in German

Ernst Dombrowski, Oliver Niebuhr

Institute of Phonetics and Digital Speech Processing (IPDS), University of Kiel, Germany

In German, the course of phrase-final rising intonation can be modelled by an interpolation between three points in the pitch contour, giving a more appropriate description than current approaches to German intonation that only include the alignment of rises and their pitch range. Within this 3-point model, the parameter range proportion produces different contour shapes: concave and convex. The perceived meaning of concave and convex rises is studied using the semantic differential technique, starting with the functional distinction of activating vs. restricting contours. Communicative meaning differences between concave and convex contour shapes are supported by data of 31 listeners.

Index terms: nuclear rise, shape, intonational meaning.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Dombrowski, Ernst / Niebuhr, Oliver (2010): "Shaping phrase-final rising intonation in German", In SP-2010, paper 788.