F0 Peak Timing, Height, and Shape as Independent Features

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding


A considerable amount of evidence from several intonation languages (e.g., German, English, Italian) supports the idea that F0 peak timing, height, and shape variables form a feature bundle, which is used to encode two-fold intonational (e.g., sentence-level) pitch accent distinctions such as L+H* vs. L*+H. The three types of features in the bundle can be weighted differently but the outcome seems to be functionally equivalent. In this sense, they are ‘substitute phonetic features’. This paper presents data from two distinct prosodic dialect types of Swedish, a pitch-accent language, suggesting that these F0 variables can also be used independently of each other in order to encode two different contrasts (i.e., a three-fold contrast), each of which phonetically and functionally related to the L+H* vs. L*+H distinction in an intonation language. For Central Swedish, we observe two peak raising strategies which go along with differently shaped rises: ‘extending’ (= faster rise) and ‘shifting’ (= slower rise), which tend to be used to signal ‘speaker-related’ emphasis (e.g., ‘surprise’) or ‘messagerelated’ emphasis (e.g., ‘correction’), respectively. For Southern Swedish, we observe an ‘extended’ peak and an ‘extended and delayed’ peak.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • General Language Studies and Linguistics


  • Intonation, prosody, focal accent, word accent, Swedish, emphasis, paralinguistic
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProc. of The 4th International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Languages, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
EditorsCarlos Gussenhoven, Yiya Chen, Dan Dediu
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch
EventThe 4th International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Languages - Nijmegen, The Netherlands, Netherlands
Duration: 2014 May 13 → …


ConferenceThe 4th International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Languages
Period2014/05/13 → …

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Linguistics and Phonetics (015010003)

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Related projects

Gilbert Ambrazaitis & Johan Frid

Swedish Research Council


Project: Research

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