Stressed Pronouns in Spontaneous English

Marlene Böttcher, Sabine Zerbian


The placement of pitch accents within intonation phrases in English is conditioned a.o. by the information structure of an utterance. While words which are referentially given are unstressed, new or contrasted items can carry pitch accents and nuclear stress. Pronouns are given and do not carry stress, unless they are contrasted. The present paper presents an analysis of spontaneous speech by 6 monolingual and 12 bilingual speakers of English which provides insight into the stressability of pronouns in English. 23,5% of the pronouns within the narrations of our participants were realised in their strong form and with some degree of stress. While a considerable amount of these stressed pronouns were indeed used to express a contrast, additional factors, such as prosodic phrasing, showed to be also relevant for stress assignment of pronouns.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-27

Cite as: Böttcher, M., Zerbian, S. (2020) Stressed Pronouns in Spontaneous English. Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020, 131-135, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-27.


@inproceedings{Böttcher2020,
  author={Marlene Böttcher and Sabine Zerbian},
  title={{Stressed Pronouns in Spontaneous English}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020},
  pages={131--135},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-27},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-27}
}