Nicole Dehé
The nature and use of Icelandic prenuclear and nuclear pitch accents: Evidence from F0 alignment and syllable/segment duration.
Nordic Journal of Linguistics 33(1), 2010, pp. 31-65.

Two production studies and one perception study were designed to systematically test F0 alignment and segment duration in Icelandic pitch accents with a view to investigating previous claims about the inventory of distinct intonational categories. Four different conditions were tested: (i) prenuclear pitch accents, (ii) nuclear accents in sentence-final position in sentences with broad focus or (iii) with final narrow focus, and (iv) nuclear narrow focus accents in non-final position. The alignment results are such that (i) prenuclear accents are signaled by a late rise (L*H), while final nuclear accents are signaled by an early rise; (ii) F0 peaks in prefinal nuclear accents are aligned earlier than in prenuclear accents, but later than in final nuclear accents suggesting a prosodic boundary effect. The duration measurements suggest a positional but no focus effect on the duration of the accented syllable and its vowel, such that syllables/vowels earlier in the sentence are longer than later ones.


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