15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003


Prosody as a Community Code (Russian, British and American Women in Radio Talk)

T. I. Shevchenko

Moscow State Linguistic University, Russia

The paper addresses the issue of sociocultural constraints on prosodic modulation in pitch, loudness and tempo in a community. Three areas of research into conventional prosody are identified: cross-language (English-Russian), cross-dialect (British-American) and social (two sociocultural groups within each major division). Recordings of 10 Russian, 10 British and 10 American women radio interviews and talks were normalized, processed and compared. The results are: Russian women speak faster, louder, with higher pitch but less resonance. British women's speech is less loud, slower, more resonant. Dialect-specific features are more gradient than contrastive: higher pitch, lower accentual duration contrast in American women's speech. Sociocultural trends have a lot in common: a higher sociocultural level is associated with increase in intensity and resonance, with slower tempo, higher contrast between accented and non-accented syllables.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Shevchenko, T. I. (2003): "Prosody as a community code (Russian, British and American women in radio talk)", In ICPhS-15, 1189-1192.