14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999

German Focus Particles and Intonation

Karin Müller

University of Stuttgart, Germany

Spoken German uses far fewer pitch accents than standard American English. It is commonly assumed that German makes use of focus particles to achieve a comparable gradation of meaning (e.g. depending on context, ‘only’ can be translated by ”allein”, ”erst”, ”noch” or ”nur”).
   There are two interacting aspects that are examined in this work. The first aspect is the disambiguation of particles i.e. the decision on the basis of intonation patterns and syntactic information whether the particle is a focus particle or not. The second aspect is the analysis of the intonation patterns that are assigned by focus particles and of the semantic influence on these intonation patterns. The interaction between these different aspects will be discussed.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Müller, Karin (1999): "German focus particles and intonation", In ICPhS-14, 1521-1524.