EUROSPEECH 2001 Scandinavia
7th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Aalborg, Denmark
September 3-7, 2001


Word Final Aspiration as a Phrase Boundary Cue: Data from Spontaneous Swedish Discourse

Victoria Johansson, Merle Horne, Sven Strömqvist

Lund University, Sweden

The Swedish sound string /at/ (graphically: att) is associated with two grammatical functions: a) (part of) a subordinate conjunction and b) as an infinitive marker. Previous studies connect final lengthening and pauses with prosodic and syntactic boundaries in spoken discourse. Following these findings, this pilot study, with 5 short spontaneous discourses from 3 male speakers shows a correlation between pauses after att, and aspiration of /t/ in att. We also show a tendency for att with aspiration to be associated with the grammatical function of subordinate conjunction. Further, looking at the distribution of aspiration in the subordinate conjunction att, and in the infinitive marker att, we are able to show a tendency for the infinitive marker to be unaspirated in the normal case, while the subordinate conjunctions are characterized by final aspiration in 40 % of the cases.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Johansson, Victoria / Horne, Merle / Strömqvist, Sven (2001): "Word final aspiration as a phrase boundary cue: data from spontaneous Swedish discourse", In EUROSPEECH-2001, 119-122.