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

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

Feature Patterns of Sentence Accent in German Interrogative Sentences

Fred Englert

Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

For German, the sentence accent allegedly is an important feature of the prosodic system. It is generally described as an accent that renders a syllable to be the most prominent of a sentence. Both location and configuration of the sentence accent are supposed to contribute to the transmission of sentence structure and meaning. Thus, the term ‘sentence accent’ is often connected with linguistic concepts of discourse structure, particularly the so-called focus/ background differentiation. Despite the assumed importance of the sentence accent, empirical evidence about its phonetic features is rarely found.
   Feature patterns of sentence accent in German interrogative sentences read-aloud will be presented in this paper. Candidates for typical feature patterns were found by means of a perception experiment. Phonetic features were derived from the domains of fundamental frequency, segmental duration and signal energy.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Englert, Fred (1999): "Feature patterns of sentence accent in German interrogative sentences", In ICPhS-14, 1553-1556.