Reaccentuation or deaccentuation: a comparative study of Italian and Dutch

This paper reports on a comparative analysis of accentuation
strategies within Italian and Dutch NPs. Accent-patterns were obtained
in a (semi-)spontaneous way via a simple dialogue-game with
8 Dutch speakers and 4 Italian ones. In this way, target descriptions
of all speakers were obtained in the following four contexts:
all new, single contrast in the adjective, single contrast in the noun,
and double contrast. It was found that the two languages both signal
information status prosodically, but in a rather different way. In
Dutch, accent distribution is the main discriminative factor: new and
contrastive information are accented, while given information is not.
Newness and contrastive accents were not intonationally different,
yet a post-hoc test revealed that listeners could distinguish a contrastive
intonation from a newness one, because contrastive accents
generally were the sole accent in the phrase and always had the shape
of a nuclear accent even in non-default positions. In Italian, distribution
is not a significant factor, since within the elicited NPs both
adjective and noun are always accented, irrespective of the status
of the information. However, there is a gradient difference in that
"given accents" are perceived as less prominent than the other two,
while there is no overall perceptual difference between contrastive
and newness accents.

Publication type: 
Contributo in volume
Author or Creator: 
Swerts M.
Avesani C.
Krahmer E.
Source: 
Proceedings of the 14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, edited by J. Ohala. Y.Hasegawa, M. Ohala, D. Granville, A. Bailey, pp. 1541–1544, 1999
Date: 
1999
Resource Identifier: 
http://www.cnr.it/prodotto/i/214078
urn:isbn:1-56396-898-3
Language: 
Eng
ISTC Author: 
Cinzia Avesani's picture
Real name: