5th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Rhodes, Greece
September 22-25, 1997

The Intonation of Vocatives in Spoken Neapolitan Italian

Maria Rosaria Caputo

Napoli, Italy

This paper examines the phonology and phonetics of intonational patterns of vocatives functioning as calls in discourse. In addition it defines the relevant discourse context for the study of the vocatives and it examines the relations between discourse contexts and intonational patterns. The paper is based on a corpus of spontaneous speech. The analysis shows the existence of many different patterns (rises, falls, and levels). The presence of an interrogative vs a non- interrogative discourse context accounts for (respectively) the occurrence of rises and falls, while the level patterns exhibit context- neutrality. The paper concludes stating that the vocatives with non- level intonation function as modal clues in discourse.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Caputo, Maria Rosaria (1997): "The intonation of vocatives in spoken Neapolitan Italian", In EUROSPEECH-1997, 775-778.