In two speeded acceptability experiments we tested which combination of prenuclear accent, nuclear accent and F0-interpolation between them is best suited to signal a double contrast in German (i.e., a contrastive topic followed by a contrastive focus). The experimental utterances differed in the prenuclear accent (medialvs. late-peak, i.e., L+H* vs. L*+H), the nuclear accent (early- vs. medial-peak, i.e., H+L* vs. H*) and the F0-interpolation between them (high or dipping). All utterances were judged for their acceptability in a contrastive (Experiment 1) and a non-contrastive context (control Experiment 2). Our results showed that the combination of a late-peak prenuclear accent (L*+H) and an early-peak nuclear accent (H+L*) is best suited to signal a double contrast, independent of the F0-interpolation. The reaction time data also support the view that the F0-interpolation is not necessary for the interpretation of a double contrast.
Bibliographic reference. Braun, Bettina / Asano, Yuki (2013): "Double contrast is signalled by prenuclear and nuclear accent types alone, not by F0-plateaux", In INTERSPEECH-2013, 263-266.