On some factors affecting the choice of tune in Russian wh-questions

Pavel Duryagin


The results of a production experiment that investigated prosodic variability in Russian information-seeking wh-questions are reported. Three wh-questions in four focus conditions, with and without initial particle, were elicited in a reading task from 20 native speakers of Russian. The data generally corroborate prior descriptions and demonstrate that a large inventory of tunes is used by Russian speakers in wh-questions. Namely, several patterns with one or two “falling” pitch accents (downstepped and non-downstepped) can be recognized in the data, as well as one “rising” pattern containing a high edge tone. Preliminary phonological analysis is proposed for these tunes. The effects of two factors on the choice of the “nuclear pitch accent + edge tone” configuration (“falling” H*+L L-% vs. “rising” L* H-%) were tested statistically. The results demonstrate that contrastive focus condition restricts the use of the “rising” pattern while the presence of phrase-initial particle а has an opposite, but weaker effect on the choice of tune.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-48

Cite as: Duryagin, P. (2020) On some factors affecting the choice of tune in Russian wh-questions. Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020, 235-239, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-48.


@inproceedings{Duryagin2020,
  author={Pavel Duryagin},
  title={{On some factors affecting the choice of tune in Russian wh-questions}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020},
  pages={235--239},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-48},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-48}
}