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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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11. Micro-prosodic consonantal effects on macro-intonation 107

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MICRO-PROSODIC CONSONANTAL EFFECTS ON MACRO-INTONATION Antti Iivonen Tapio Seppänen Kai Noponen Juhani Toivanen 1 Introduction: Macro and micro-prosody A well-known micro-prosodic factor, vowel openness degree, ceteris paribus, affects inherent higher or lower F0-levels of vowels (Lehiste, 1976; Di Cristo, 1978/1985; Meister and Werner, 2006). Unvoiced consonants cause interruptions and modifications in the fundamental frequency, which hamper the study of the intonation patterns. Therefore, utterances including unvoiced consonants are often avoided in the research of prosody. We present evidence how the unvoiced obstruents k, p, s, t and the approximant h besides the voiced consonants (resonants j, l, m, n, r, v) as well as the vowels a and i influence the pitch contours. The term macro-intonation can be understood paradigmatically: it is combined with the question about the form and number of intonation patterns of a language. It is an abstract notion, because the acoustic details of its realizations as F0 contours depend on the syllable and mora structure, number of words and word stress locations in the utterance concerned, among other things. 2 Macro-intonation of single-word utterances We concentrate on the question which kind of micro-prosodic effect consonants and vowels take on the height at the very beginning of the F0 contours (Initial Pitch) and on the height of the F0 peaks (Peak Pitch) (Figure 1). Our secondary interest is to discuss the consonantal effects on F0 later in words. The initial pitch height can vary much in utterances for functional reasons (for Finnish, cf. Iivonen, 1984). Therefore...

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