5th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing
Phrase accents, one of the three tonal categories assumed by much recent research on intonation, are expected to associate with a prosodic boundary (e.g. the end of the utterance) but not to phonetically align with a specific tone-bearing unit (TBU), such as a stressed syllable. This paper presents experimental evidence on the intonation of Cypriot Greek polar questions suggesting that phrase accents prefer to associate with specific TBUs. Concretely, it is shown that in Cypriot Greek polar question intonation, autosegmentally described as L* H L%, the H phrase accent does not align with the final stressed vowel as in Standard Greek, but instead it aligns approximately 30ms from the onset of either the penultimate or the final vowel of the utterance. The data provide evidence that phrase accents, like other tonal categories, exhibit stable phonetic alignment and support Ladd, Arvaniti and Mennen's (1997) typology of stress-seeking and non-stress-seeking phrase accents.
Bibliographic reference. Arvaniti, Amalia (1998): "Phrase accents revisited: comparative evidence from standard and cypriot greek", In ICSLP-1998, paper 0550.