5th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Rhodes, Greece
September 22-25, 1997

Relating Prosody to Syntax: Boundary Signalling in Swedish

Eva Strangert

Department of Linguistics, Phonetics, Umeň University, Umeň, Sweden

Two factors were experimentally varied in order to study their effects on silent interval and segment duration at NP-VP boundaries in Swedish sentences. These factors, the syntactic complexity of the NP and VP portions as well as the length of the words in the sentence both had significant effects on silent interval duration. Concerning word length, the general trend was an increase in silent interval duration, when longer words as compared to shorter ones preceded the boundary. Furthermore, silent interval duration increased, while preboundary segment duration decreased, when the NP complexity was increased. Moreover, there was a tendency to decreasing silence duration when the NP had the simplest structure, containing just a noun, and the VP increased in complexity. The same tendency was observed in the consonant preceding the boundary. This adjustment pattern, common to the silent interval and the final consonant, was assumed to occur in order to counteract imbalance in complexity between the NP and VP.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Strangert, Eva (1997): "Relating prosody to syntax: boundary signalling in Swedish", In EUROSPEECH-1997, 239-242.