Wh-questions

Wh-word questions were tonally marked in a similar, though not identical, manner as the focus cases, as can be seen in the example below:




The speaker selects a new register for the wh-word, [kidhar], (286-385 Hz, versus 217-325 Hz in [a:p]), assigning LH, followed by an f0 drop to the end of the utterance. The wh-word resembles a focus word in its added prominence through a unique register for the wh-word and for following constituents. Wh-words do differ from focus words in that the mechanism for indicating greater prominence is not register expansion so much as an "upstepping" of the Ls andHs in question. An upstepped LH would involve maintaining a similar difference between L and H while shifting its absolute f0 higher in the speaker's pitch range. Thus the upstepped L would be at approximately the same "height" as the preceding H.
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Last Updated: 12/03/97


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