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Academic Paper


Title: The nature and use of Icelandic prenuclear and nuclear pitch accents: Evidence from F0 alignment and syllable/segment duration
Author: Nicole Dehé
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://ling.uni-konstanz.de/pages/home/dehe/home.htm
Institution: Universität Konstanz
Linguistic Field: Phonology
Subject Language: Icelandic
Abstract: Two production studies and one perception study were designed to systematically test F0 alignment and segment duration in Icelandic pitch accents with a view to investigating previous claims about the inventory of distinct intonational categories. Four different conditions were tested: (i) prenuclear pitch accents, (ii) nuclear accents in sentence-final position in sentences with either broad focus or (iii) with final narrow focus, and (iv) nuclear narrow focus accents in non-final position. The alignment results are such that (i) prenuclear accents are signalled by a late rise (L*H), while final nuclear accents are signalled by an early rise; (ii) F0 peaks in prefinal nuclear accents are aligned earlier than in prenuclear accents, but later than in final nuclear accents, suggesting a prosodic boundary effect. The duration measurements suggest a positional, but no focus, effect on the duration of the accented syllable and its vowel, such that syllables/vowels earlier in the sentence are longer than later ones.

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This article appears IN Nordic Journal of Linguistics Vol. 33, Issue 1.

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