Durational cues to stress and phrasing are preserved post-focally in English

Danfeng Wu


This paper studies two questions in English prosody through an investigation of prosody in post-focal contexts: i) whether (phrasal) stress has a phonetic basis, and should be distinguished from pitch accent; and ii) whether an intermediate phrase must contain pitch accent. The post-focal contexts are good test grounds for these questions because they are claimed to undergo ‘deaccentuation’, i.e. they lack pitch accents. This paper shows with preliminary results from a production study that there is durational evidence that indicates that phrasal stress can exist post-focally in the absence of pitch accent, and therefore phrasal stress can be realized acoustically, and should be distinguished from pitch accent. Furthermore, intermediate phrase boundaries are preserved post-focally, implying that intermediate phrases do not have to contain pitch accent.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-49

Cite as: Wu, D. (2020) Durational cues to stress and phrasing are preserved post-focally in English. Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020, 240-244, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-49.


@inproceedings{Wu2020,
  author={Danfeng Wu},
  title={{Durational cues to stress and phrasing are preserved post-focally in English}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020},
  pages={240--244},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-49},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-49}
}