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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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Use of speech and prosody in Composed Theatre



This paper provides an introductory overview of the use of prosody in experimental theatrical performance. This study is part of a larger research project on the production and perception of speech in the avant-garde, experimental Composed Theatre (CT). The reason for studying this type of performance is, first, because there is a demand from CT analysts to know more about the use of speech and phonetic characteristics in CT and second, because its extraordinary, highly variable use of speech and voice raises a number of interesting issues about the functions of prosody and other elements of speech in theatrical performances, in particular in CT. The aim of this paper is to describe what the performers are doing with their voices, namely, what prosodic strategies they use in order to transmit meaning and how these strategies differ from everyday speech. Our data show that CT performers often deconstruct speech to its elements, such as phones, intonation and rhythm and reconstruct them in various ways that differ from normal speech.


Prosody, theatrical speech, artistic speech, rhythm, intonation

*   Corresponding author:, Tel: +41(0)44 634 0234

a   Phonetics Laboratory, Department of Comparative Linguistics, University of Zurich, Plattenstrasse 54, 8032 Zürich, Switzerland

b   Bern University of the Arts, Fellerstrasse 11, 3027 Bern, Switzerland ← 379 | 380 →

1.0   Understanding Composed Theatre

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