Intonation: Theory, Models, and Applications

Athens, Greece
September 18-20, 1997

        

Focus, Intonation and Phrasing in Bengali and English

J. Fitzpatrick-Cole, Aditi Lahiri

University of Konstanz, Fachgruppe Sprachwissenschaft, Konstanz, Germany

In this paper we compare focus intonation in Bengali and English, particularly with respect to phrasing. Bengali marks the beginning of focus with a pitch accent and the end of focus with a phrasal tone, i.e. there is a phrase break at the right edge of focus. English marks the end of focus with a pitch accent and arguably a phrase break. But evidence from intonation and the Rhythm Rule suggest that there is a phrase break at the left edge of focus. Indeed, a left phrase break distinguishes apparent cases of ambiguity between word and phrasal focus.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Fitzpatrick-Cole, J. / Lahiri, Aditi (1997): "Focus, intonation and phrasing in bengali and English", In INT-1997, 119-122.