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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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14. Cross-language differences in the production of phrasal prominence in Norwegian and German 139

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CROSS-LANGUAGE DIFFERENCES IN THE PRODUCTION OF PHRASAL PROMINENCE IN NORWEGIAN AND GERMAN Jacques Koreman Bistra Andreeva William J. Barry Rein Ove Sikveland Wim van Dommelen 1 Introduction The work presented in this article is part of a larger research project carried out at Saarland University in Germany. The project is titled “Cross-language and individual differences in the production and perception of syllabic prominence. Rhythm-typology revisited”, and is funded by the German Research Council. As the title of the project indicates, its aim is to investigate the realization and perception of prominence in languages which belong to different rhythm types – both stress-timed, syllable-timed and mora-timed. At present, recordings have been made for the following languages: German, English, Norwegian, Bulgarian, Russian, French and Japanese. Clearly, all languages are restricted to the same acoustic means to signal prominence: duration, F0, intensity and spectral definition. Previous research has shown that languages belonging to different rhythm types use these means to a different extent (Andreeva et al., 2007; Barry et al., 2007; Koreman et al., 2008). This, together with the variation of durational rhythm measures within languages across text types and speakers (see Barry et al., 2003), has led to the view that, instead of taking rhythm as an intrinsic property of languages which explains their (mainly) temporal organization, we should possibly think of it as an emergent property of languages determined by their structural characteristics. As a consequence of this view, rhythmic differences between languages should result from the different exploitation of acoustic properties....

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