Recent studies on the intonation of German suggest that the phonetic realization may contribute to the signaling of questions. In a previous production study polar questions, alternative questions and continuous statements were found to differ by a gradual increase in pitch scaling of a phonologically identical final rising contour . Based on similar findings for Dutch Haan  concludes that the meaning signaled by the phonetic realization indicates an attitude rather than a categorical function. This is supported by Chen's  perception studies on question intonation in Dutch, Hungarian and Mandarin Chinese as well as early findings for German by Batliner . This paper investigates whether the phonetic realization of intonation in questions signals the categorical pragmatic function of `interrogativity' or rather a `questioning' attitude. Additionally, we investigate, which phonetic parameter is the decisive cue to this meaning. Three perception studies are reported: a combination of an identification and discrimination task, an imitation task, and a semantic rating task. Results suggest that the phonetic implementation of intonation in German questions signals an attitude rather than a linguistic category and that this function is primarily signaled by the offset of the final rising pitch movement.
Bibliographic reference. Michalsky, Jan (2015): "Pitch scaling as a perceptual cue for questions in German", In INTERSPEECH-2015, 924-928.