The 4th International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Languages

Nijmegen, The Netherlands
May 13-16, 2014

F0 Peak Timing, Height, and Shape as Independent Features

Gilbert Ambrazaitis, Johan Frid

Linguistics and Phonetics, Centre for Languages and Literature, Lund University, Sweden

A considerable amount of evidence from several intonation languages (e.g., German, English, Italian) supports the idea that F0 peak timing, height, and shape variables form a feature bundle, which is used to encode two-fold intonational (e.g., sentence-level) pitch accent distinctions such as L+H* vs. L*+H. The three types of features in the bundle can be weighted differently but the outcome seems to be functionally equivalent. In this sense, they are ‘substitute phonetic features’. This paper presents data from two distinct prosodic dialect types of Swedish, a pitch-accent language, suggesting that these F0 variables can also be used independently of each other in order to encode two different contrasts (i.e., a three-fold contrast), each of which phonetically and functionally related to the L+H* vs. L*+H distinction in an intonation language. For Central Swedish, we observe two peak raising strategies which go along with differently shaped rises: ‘extending’ (= faster rise) and ‘shifting’ (= slower rise), which tend to be used to signal ‘speaker-related’ emphasis (e.g., ‘surprise’) or ‘messagerelated’ emphasis (e.g., ‘correction’), respectively. For Southern Swedish, we observe an ‘extended’ peak and an ‘extended and delayed’ peak.

Index Terms: Intonation, prosody, focal accent, word accent, Swedish, emphasis, paralinguistic

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Ambrazaitis, Gilbert / Frid, Johan (2014): "F0 peak timing, height, and shape as independent features", In TAL-2014, 138-142.