Published online by Cambridge University Press: 18 February 2010
This chapter offers an account of Pierrehumbert's model for the description of tone and intonation. Her seminal thesis (Pierrehumbert 1980) presented a descriptive framework for intonation which separated the phonological representation from its phonetic implementation. This made it possible to characterize the notion ‘possible prosodic structure’ independently of the phonetic details of intonation contours. Section 7.2 places the model in its historical setting by identifying the positions in the pre-1980 literature that are intellectually closest to its various elements. The section ends with a nutshell description of the revised grammar of American English of Beckman and Pierrehumbert (1986). Section 7.3 discusses the developments that have taken place since the revised 1986 model was presented in Beckman and Pierrehumbert (1986). Tonal structure is sensitive to prosodic phrasing because prosodic phrases may begin and end with boundary tones. Section 7.4 looks at a second effect of phrasing on tone structure, that of the rhythmic distribution of pitch accents, or the resolution of stress clash.
Earlier introductions to intonational phonology are Ladd (1996), who coined the term ‘Autosegmental-Metrical (AM) model’ for it, Shattuck-Hufnagel and Turk (1996), and Beckman (1996). The model is autosegmental because it has separate tiers for segments (vowels and consonants) and tones (H,L). It is metrical because it assumes that the elements in these tiers are contained in a hierarchically organized set of phonological constituents, as depicted in (1), to which the tones make reference in several ways.