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Nordic Prosody

Proceedings of the Xth Conference, Helsinki 2008

Edited By Martti Vainio, Reijo Aulanko and Olli Aaltonen

This volume contains the revised texts of talks and posters given at the Nordic Prosody X conference, held at the University of Helsinki, in August 2008. The contributions by Scandinavian and other researchers cover a wide range of prosody-related topics from various theoretical and methodological points of view. Although the history of the conference series is Nordic and Scandinavian, the current volume presents studies that are of mainly Baltic origin in the sense that of the eight languages presented in the proceedings only English is not natively spoken around the Baltic Sea. Research issues addressed in the 25 articles include various aspects of speech prosody, their regional variation within and across languages as well as social and idiolectal variation. Speech technology and modelling of prosody are also addressed in more than one article.

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8. Phonological and grammatical informative value in an intonation unit 79

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PHONOLOGICAL AND GRAMMATICAL INFORMATIVE VALUE IN AN INTONATION UNIT M. Carmen Fernández Leal 1 Introduction The representation of what is more relevant has different approaches, and among them can be considered the representation of relevance by means of phonological devices, due to the fact that pitch accent, word stress and segmental noise can be used to supply a certain degree of relevance (Sperber and Wilson, 1995). The purpose of this study is to connect the pragmatic notion of information with the prosodic feature of pitch accent in an intonation unit (Couper-Kuhlen, 1986; Cruttenden, 1986; Tench, 1996). Words, phrases, clauses and sentences with syl- lables carrying a nuclear pitch accent as a sign of new, contrastive information or emphasis are analyzed in phonological and grammatical terms, in order to find out if there is a relationship in the election of phonological components, grammatical categories and their syntactic functions with the notion of relevance attached to pitch accent connected with an information unit. The phonological analysis provided is related to the type of segment and nuclear pitch accent, together with the number of stressed words and pauses. The grammatical analysis is mainly focused on grammatical categories such as nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, personal pronouns and prepositions. The vocative and possessive genitive forms, related to nouns, are also included in the analysis. Syntactic functions are chiefly connected with nouns as subject, object and prepositional complement. 2 Method The data for analysis is a text transcribed by J. D. O’Connor that is part...

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