INTERSPEECH 2015
16th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Dresden, Germany
September 6-10, 2015

Immediately Postverbal Questions in Urdu

Farhat Jabeen, Tina Bögel, Miriam Butt

Universität Konstanz, Germany

This production study investigates the interaction of prosody, word order and information structure with respect to wh-constituents in Urdu. We contrasted immediately preverbal wh-constituents with immediately postverbal ones. The preverbal position is the default focus position in Urdu; the appearance of wh-constituents in the immediately postverbal position within the verbal complex is not well understood. In order to test various possible factors governing the appearance of immediately postverbal wh-constituents, target sentences with wh-constituents in both pre- and postverbal positions were presented in different pragmatic contexts and given to native speakers to pronounce. The results show a clear difference in prosodic realization between the pre- and the postverbal position. The preverbal position is consistent with focus prosody, the postverbal wh-phrases appear to occur when the verb is in focus.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Jabeen, Farhat / Bögel, Tina / Butt, Miriam (2015): "Immediately postverbal questions in urdu", In INTERSPEECH-2015, 943-947.