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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

High Rising Tones in Southern British English

Katherine Shobbrook, Jill House

University College London, UK

A recent analysis of high rising tones (HRT) in Australian English found that the F0 starting point of rising contours was significantly higher when the utterance was a yes/no question than when it was a statement. The present study investigates whether HRTs in Southern British English, where 'uptalk' is now widespread, show similar distinctions. Analysis of speech samples obtained from a set of map task dialogues revealed no significant differences between the mean F0 at onset or end point of HRTs for statements and questions. Direct comparisons between the Australian and British English results must be tentative. Discussion centres on criteria for categorising high vs low onsets, the non-intonational criteria used to distinguish questions and statements, and the limitations of the map task as a method for eliciting data which can be reliably categorised as statement or question.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Shobbrook, Katherine / House, Jill (2003): "High rising tones in Southern British English", In ICPhS-15, 1273-1276.