Intonational cues to discourse structure in Japanese

J.J. Venditti, M.G.J. Swerts

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    The study examines the extent to which intonation plays a role in the structuring of information in a Japanese monologue. The role of pitch accent in the intonational system of Japanese is very different from that in languages like Dutch or English: in Japanese, pitch accent is a lexical property of words and cannot be used to lend prominence to words at the sentence level. Therefore, we wondered if (and how) intonation can cue discourse structure in Japanese, comparable to how it is being used in Dutch and English. Results show that fundamental frequency (F0), amplitude, and duration of the final accents in each sentence did not serve to cue the boundaries of discourse segments, contrary to our expectation. However, pitch range variations on NPs, examined in terms of their position in a discourse segment and their information status, did show a correlation with discourse structure.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 4th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing, ICSLP-96, Philadelphia, PA, USA, October 3-6
    Publication statusPublished - 1996


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