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  • Cited by 1
  • Print publication year: 2008
  • Online publication date: June 2012

3 - Analysis and transcription of intonation


Now that we have explored the theoretical and empirical foundations of the AM approach to intonation, and illustrated its potential for meaningful comparison across languages, we can move on to consider technical details of the AM description of the intonational phonology of specific languages. The obvious starting point for any such discussion is Pierrehumbert's analysis of English. There are actually three distinct versions of this analysis: the original version presented in Pierrehumbert 1980; a revised version, intended to supersede the original, developed by Pierrehumbert in collaboration with Mary Beckman (Beckman and Pierrehumbert 1986; Pierrehumbert and Beckman 1988); and a modified and simplified version of the revision that forms part of the original ToBI transcription system for Standard English (Silverman et al. 1992; Pitrelli, Beckman, and Hirschberg 1994; Beckman and Ayers Elam 1993; Brugos, Shattuck-Hufnagel, and Veilleux 2006). These are presented in section 3.1. The presentation is fairly summary; at several points brief reference is made to matters of disagreement, unresolved issues, other languages, and further developments, and many of these issues are taken up again in greater depth later on. In section 3.2 we consider the extension of AM principles to the description of languages other than English.

The Pierrehumbert analysis of English intonational phonology

Notational conventions

It will be useful to begin with a few remarks about notation, as it is important to distinguish mere notational conventions from the theoretical innovations that the notation system expresses.