Intonation: Theory, Models, and Applications

Athens, Greece
September 18-20, 1997


On the Specification of Sentence Initial F0-Patterns in German

Kai Alter (1), H. Pirker (2)

(1) Max-Planck-Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Leipzig, Germany
(2) Austrian Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence, Vienna, Austria

It is widely accepted that linguistic high level information like information structure (focus-background-division, topicalization) influences accent placement and accent type (rising, falling, hat pattern etc.) in German. Previous research was concentrated on tonal patterns associated with focus and topic ([1],[2]). We will demonstrate that 1) sentence initial tonal variation and 2) syllable duration depend on the location and the type of focus in the sentence. We assume that focussed material forms its own prosodic domain. Both prosodic parameters show a significant variation depending on whether they are associated with prosodic categories inside or outside of focussed domains.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Alter, Kai / Pirker, H. (1997): "On the specification of sentence initial F0-patterns in German", In INT-1997, 25-28.