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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Perception of Prominence in Standard British English

Christian Jensen

University of Copenhagen, Denmark

The perception of prominence in short English utterances was examined in a listening experiment where raters indicated prominence on a four-level scale. The results show that the first and last lexical item in an utterance are more prominent than any intervening stressed words, and that the perceived prominences follow a strong - weak alternating pattern. The traditional claim in the British school of intonation analysis that the 'nucleus' is the most prominent syllable in an utterance or intonation unit is only partially supported, and it is argued that prominence should be rejected as a defining property of the nucleus.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Jensen, Christian (2003): "Perception of prominence in standard British English", In ICPhS-15, 1815-1818.