Prosodic boundary strength and the location of pre-nuclear phrasal prominence

Soundess Azzabou-Kacem, Alice Turk, Ellen Bard

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review

Abstract

The assignment of pre-nuclear phrasal prominence in sequences like THIRteen MEN (vs. thirTEEN) is not fully understood. We propose that the location of pre-nuclear prominence in thirteen is sensitive to the strength of the prosodic boundary separating the clashing words thirteen and men: a weaker prosodic boundary should invite early prominence on THIRteen. Eleven speakers read 14 potentially clashing word pairs in syntactic contexts likely to elicit a stronger boundary (NP+ VP: How does the canteen cook these days?) or a weaker boundary (Pre-modifier+NOUN: Who is the canteen cook these days?). Syntactic condition had significant effects in the predicted direction on the strength of the critical prosodic boundary. Results suggest that boundary strength modifies the relative prominence of the two syllables in the first word (e.g. canteen), but analyses of F0 and duration suggest that the effect is primarily, or perhaps even exclusively, localised on the 2nd syllable, e.g. -teen.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015

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