ISCA Archive SpeechProsody 2022
ISCA Archive SpeechProsody 2022

Information status and tonal context jointly modulate prosodic prominence relations in German

Janne Lorenzen, Simon Roessig, Stefan Baumann

We conducted an interactive online production experiment on German in which participants were asked to read aloud stories for a fellow player who then had to sort picture cards corresponding to single sentences of the stories in the correct order. The target sentences contained two target words, an indirect object followed by a direct object, which were either new or accessible in their discourse context. Our aim was to investigate the paradigmatic and syntagmatic effects of information status as well as the (syntagmatic) influence of tonal context on the prosodic prominence relation between the target words. Results show that (i) new referents are generally marked by more prominent accent types than accessible referents, (ii) the prominence of sentence-final accents increases/decreases when their referents are newer/more accessible than non-final referents (carrying ‘medial’ accents), and (iii) the type of medial accent determines the relation between accent type and information status in the final pitch accent. The results support the idea of a prominence budget that is distributed across pitch accents within an utterance. Furthermore, modulations of a specific distribution of prominences may reflect changes in both meaning-related factors (such as information status) and form-related factors (such as accent type) simultaneously.


doi: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2022-2

Cite as: Lorenzen, J., Roessig, S., Baumann, S. (2022) Information status and tonal context jointly modulate prosodic prominence relations in German. Proc. Speech Prosody 2022, 7-11, doi: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2022-2

@inproceedings{lorenzen22_speechprosody,
  author={Janne Lorenzen and Simon Roessig and Stefan Baumann},
  title={{Information status and tonal context jointly modulate prosodic prominence relations in German}},
  year=2022,
  booktitle={Proc. Speech Prosody 2022},
  pages={7--11},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2022-2}
}