Seminar on intonation

Francesco Cangemi (U Köln)

The seminar will start with a brief introduction to prosody, focussing on its development within linguistics, the role of phonology in its architecture, and its links with other linguistic subdisciplines. Then we will focus on intonation, and elaborate on the specific challenges it raises on the different levels of its architecture (substance, meaning and form). As for phonetic substance, we will discuss the treatment of acoustic data, focussing on the detection of inflection points in f0 contours and the manipulation of entire f0 contours using Functional Data Analysis. Regarding intonational meaning, we will discuss the epistemological implications of the crucial difference between pragmatic (i.e. theory-dependent) and lexical (i.e. epilinguistically accessible) meaning. We then move to a discussion of issues regarding abstract phonological forms, focussing on the relationship between intonational inventories and grammars, and on the insights provided by the abstractionist-exemplar debate when recast in the prosodic domain. The theoretical section of the seminar will be concluded by a discussion of speaker-and listener-specific behaviour in intonation. In the closing practical session we show how to create both analytic and synthetic graphical representations of f0 contours using automated procedures with Praat.

Presentation [pdf] [powerpoint]

9.30-11.00 Prosody: introduction. Intonation: substance.

11.00-11.15 Coffee break

11.15-12.30 Intonation: function, form and individual variability.

12.30-14.00 Lunch

14.00-15.15 Praat scripting: introduction.

15.15-15.30 Coffee break

15.30-16.30 Praat scripting: plots and resynthesis