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An intonational grammar for Icelandic

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 June 2009

Nicole Dehé*
Affiliation:
Freie Universität Berlin, Institut für Englische Philologie, Habelschwerdter Allee 45, 14195 Berlin, Germany. ndehe@zedat.fu-berlin.de
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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to shed new light on the tonal grammar of Icelandic and to complement the tone inventory as previously described in the literature (Árnason 1998). Specifically, types of pitch accents and edge tones and their combinations in neutral declaratives and questions, and in utterances containing narrow focus are addressed. Two pitch accent types (H* and L*) and two edge tones (H- and L-) are identified, for which evidence has not been found in previous research. Moreover, the paper shows for declaratives, that along with downstep, Icelandic has upstep across Intonational Phrases. Upstep applies to a series of pitch peaks. It may occur in neutral declaratives and in utterances with final narrow focus. Overall, the results of this study provide a substantial addition to our knowledge of Icelandic intonational phonology.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Nordic Association of Linguistics 2009

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An intonational grammar for Icelandic
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