Speech Prosody 2004

Nara, Japan
March 23-26, 2004

The Pragmatics of Prosodic Features in the Political Debate

Daniela Braga, Maria Aldina Marques

Experimental Phonetics Laboratory, University of Minho, Portugal

In this paper, a study on the prosodic features and the pragmatic meanings associated is presented. We propose that there is a prosodic code, in which a set of suprassegmental elements are consciously and intencionally manipulated and therefore put in correlation with syntactic structures, lexical choices and pragmatic meanings. It is our belief that there is a prosodic grammar that works together with the linguistic and rethorical devices in order to build an argumentative discourse. The prosodic features will be described and justified as well as the possible communicative meanings associated. A typology of pragmatic effects is also proposed.

This work was the result of the analysis of spontaneous utterances extracted from a political debate corpus in European Portuguese. We think that the conclusions achieved can be easily extended to other languages.

Methodological issues and some observed prosodic and pragmatic phenomena are also presented. General regularities and correlations as well as the resulting rules, that may be a starting point for practical implementation of an intonation module, are demonstrated and discussed.

This study is mainly oriented to pragmatic studies and speech synthesis improvements and applications. Further perspectives of the on-going work are also previewed.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Braga, Daniela / Marques, Maria Aldina (2004): "The pragmatics of prosodic features in the political debate", In SP-2004, 321-324.