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Journal Article

On the timing of the final rise in Dutch falling-rising intonation contours


Van de Ven,  Marco
Language Comprehension Department, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;
Mechanisms and Representations in Comprehending Speech, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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Van de Ven, M., & Gussenhoven, C. (2011). On the timing of the final rise in Dutch falling-rising intonation contours. Journal of Phonetics, 39, 225-236. doi:10.1016/j.wocn.2011.01.006.

Cite as:
A corpus of Dutch falling-rising intonation contours with early nuclear accent was elicited from nine speakers with a view to establishing the extent to which the low F0 target immediately preceding the final rise, was attracted by a post-nuclear stressed syllable (PNS) in either of the last two words or by Second Occurrence Contrastive Focus (SOCF) on either of these words. We found a small effect of foot type, which we interpret as due to a rhythmic 'trochaic enhancement' effect. The results show that neither PNS nor SOCF influences the location of the low F0 target, which appears consistently to be timed with reference to the utterance end. It is speculated that there are two ways in which postnuclear tones can be timed. The first is by means of a phonological association with a post-nuclear stressed syllable, as in Athenian Greek and Roermond Dutch. The second is by a fixed distance from the utterance end or from the target of an adjacent tone. Accordingly, two phonological mechanisms are defended, association and edge alignment, such that all tones edge-align, but only some associate. Specifically, no evidence was found for a third situation that can be envisaged, in which a post-nuclear tone is gradiently attracted to a post-nuclear stress.