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Trends in Phonetics and Phonology

Studies from German-speaking Europe

Edited By Adrian Leemann, Marie-José Kolly, Stephan Schmid and Volker Dellwo

This volume was inspired by the 9th edition of the Phonetik & Phonologie conference, held in Zurich in October 2013. It includes state of the art research on phonetics and phonology in various languages and from interdisciplinary contributors. The volume is structured into the following eight sections: segmentals, suprasegmentals, articulation in spoken and sign language, perception, phonology, crowdsourcing phonetic data, second language speech, and arts (with inevitable overlap between these areas).
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Avoiding melodic clashes in pitch accent production: A corpus study

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Abstract

Although pitch accents are influenced by discourse structure, they are not always be unambiguously related to contextual cues (Féry, 2006; Baumann, 2006; Schweitzer et al., 2009; Féry & Kügler, 2008). The present study examines whether context-independent prosodic aspects, namely a tendency for tonal alternation, affect the choice of pitch accent types. Specifically, we investigated whether the probability of alternating tones increases with accent proximity in order to avoid local melodic clashes. To this end, we studied pitch accents in a German radio news corpus (Eckart et al., 2012) and found that the distance between two successive accents affects the likelihood that the two accents differ in type. Furthermore, we observed that different phrase boundary types (intermediate vs. intonation phrase boundaries) affect pitch accent alternation differently, and that the position of an accent within the phrase influences the realization of the following accent. Our study therefore suggests that prosody-inherent factors should be taken into account when phonological and information structural categories are associated with each other.

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