Intonation: Theory, Models, and Applications

Athens, Greece
September 18-20, 1997


Intonational Phrasing, Clause Order, and Concessive Interpretation of Norwegian Conditionals

Thorstein Fretheim, Wim van Dommelen, Randi Alice Nilsen

University of Trondheim, Norway

A listening experiment reveals that intonational phrasing differentiates successfully between a regular if-then interpretation and a concessive interpretation of Norwegian conditionals when the clause order is main clause (expressing the 'apodosis') first, conditional clause (expressing the 'protasis') last, and that it appears to be a less successful procedural device when the order of clauses is reversed. The general immediate impression that intonational phrasing is a poor disambiguator when the protasis precedes the apodosis is seen to be in need of some qualification, however, once the interaction of intonational phrasing and conventional lexical means of expressing the concessive even if meaning in spoken Norwegian is taken into consideration.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Fretheim, Thorstein / Dommelen, Wim van / Nilsen, Randi Alice (1997): "Intonational phrasing, clause order, and concessive interpretation of norwegian conditionals", In INT-1997, 123-126.