Intonation: Theory, Models, and Applications

Athens, Greece
September 18-20, 1997


Intonational Characteristics of Declarativity and Interrogativity in Dutch: A Comparison

Judith Haan (1), Vincent J. van Heuven (2), Jos J. A. Pacilly (2), Renée van Bezooijen (1)

(1) Department of General Linguistics and Dialectology, Centre for Language Studies, Nijmegen University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
(2) Phonetics Laboratory, Department of Linguistics and Holland Institute of Generative Linguistics, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands

Intonational characteristics of two major communicative functions, declarativity and intenogativity, were compared and contrasted by systematically varying statements and several question types. It was hypothesized that, in Dutch, interrogativity distinguishes itself from declarativity by high(er) pitch, both local and global. On a local level, interrogative utterances were found to have high onsets as well as high offsets. Globally, interrogativity caused utterances to be realized in a higher and a narrower register. Also, in questions all-points regression lines lacked the steady decline of F0 characteristic of declarativity. However, among the various question types these properties are by no means evenly distributed. Thus each sentence type has a characteristic pitch profile of its own; the data suggest that this is brought about, among other things, by pragmatic factors affecting (de)accentuation patterns.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Haan, Judith / Heuven, Vincent J. van / Pacilly, Jos J. A. / Bezooijen, Renée van (1997): "Intonational characteristics of declarativity and interrogativity in dutch: a comparison", In INT-1997, 173-176.