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7 - Tonal Structures

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 February 2010

Carlos Gussenhoven
Affiliation:
Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen, The Netherlands
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Summary

Introduction

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.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2004

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  • Tonal Structures
  • Carlos Gussenhoven, Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  • Book: The Phonology of Tone and Intonation
  • Online publication: 18 February 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511616983.008
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  • Tonal Structures
  • Carlos Gussenhoven, Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  • Book: The Phonology of Tone and Intonation
  • Online publication: 18 February 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511616983.008
Available formats
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Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Tonal Structures
  • Carlos Gussenhoven, Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  • Book: The Phonology of Tone and Intonation
  • Online publication: 18 February 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511616983.008
Available formats
×