Speech Prosody 2004

Nara, Japan
March 23-26, 2004

Accenting Accessible Information

Stefan Baumann (1), Martine Grice (2)

(1) Institute of Phonetics, Saarland University, Germany
(2) IfL-Phonetics, University of Cologne, Germany

In a perception experiment in German, subjects judged the appropriateness of three types of nuclear pitch accent (including deaccentuation) on non-pronominal anaphoric referring expressions, which were either textually or inferentially accessible from the preceding context. Results confirm that accessible information can indeed be accented - and in some cases must be. However, not all accents are equally appropriate. The type of accent preferred depends on the relation between the antecedent and the anaphor. Results further suggest a continuum of degrees of activation for referring expressions which is to some extent iconically reflected by the pitch height on the lexically stressed syllable of the target word.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Baumann, Stefan / Grice, Martine (2004): "Accenting accessible information", In SP-2004, 21-24.