Intonation: Theory, Models, and Applications

Athens, Greece
September 18-20, 1997


Tonal Perception of Focus in Greek and Swedish

Antonis Botinis (1,2), Robert Bannert (1)

(1) Department of Phonetics, University of Umea, Umea, Sweden
(2) Department of Linguistics, University of Athens, Athens, Greece

Ten Greek and thirteen Swedish listeners were asked to identify focus in a perceptual experiment with tonal manipulations in a reference ~ target experimental procedure for each language. The results indicate: 1. Listeners can reliably identify focal structures but not neutral ones. 2. Structural tonal manipulations have a bigger perceptual effect than tonal-range ones. 3. Focal tonal shifts have a categorical effect and override the conflicting cues of duration and intensity in Greek but not in Swedish. 4. Tonal neutralisations have a categorical effect in Swedish but not in Greek. In summary, tonal manipulations have a major perceptual effect for focus in both languages but in different ways.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Botinis, Antonis / Bannert, Robert (1997): "Tonal perception of focus in Greek and Swedish", In INT-1997, 47-50.