his.sePublications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Intonation and sentence type interpretation in Greek: A production and perception approach
University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.
2009 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis examines the intonation patterns of Modern Greek with regard to different interpretations of the sentence types (declarative, interrogative, imperative).

14 utterances are produced by Greek native speakers (2 men and 2 women) so as to express various speech acts: STATEMENT, QUESTION, COMMAND and REQUEST.

The acquisition of the F0 curve for each utterance by means of the Wavesurfer tool leads to an analysis of the pitch movements and their alignments.

After the F0 curves are analyzed and illustrated using the Excel program we are able to compare and group them. Thus, we come up with 5 different intonation patterns. After a second-level comparison based on the fact that some of the F0 curves were similar but they differed only as far as the final pitch movement is concerned, we ended up with 3 fundamental categories of intonation patterns: Category I whose main feature is the rising pitch movement aligned to the onset of the stressed syllables. This category includes only sentences that denote Statement so we can call it the STATEMENT category. Category II’s main characteristic is a dipping pitch movement aligned to the head of the utterance that is the stress of the verb or a particle that signifies negation (/min/, /den/). Sentences meaning Command or Request belong to this category. Lastly, Category III’s intonation pattern consists of peaking pitch movements aligned to the initial and final stressed syllables. Interrogative sentences belong to this category no matter their interpretation.

A secondary goal of the thesis is to examine to which extent intonation can be a safe criterion for the “correct” interpretation of a sentence. A de facto presumption that since the ratio between the number of utterances (14) and the different intonation patterns (5) is not 1:1 there can always be misunderstandings among speakers, is basically verified by the results of our perception test conducted to Greek native speakers: Greek native speakers were able to identify most of the speech acts that were expressed by the most common (default) sentence type (i.e. imperative sentence for COMMAND and interrogative for QUESTION) however there were combinations that they had difficulties to identify, such as interrogative sentences that were denoting other than QUESTION, e.g. REQUEST or STATEMENT.Ending, a perception test conducted to Flemish speakers (subjects that were native speakers of another language than Greek) showed that they were more successful in sentences that meant STATEMENT and QUESTION but they could hardly identify an interrogative sentence that meant other than QUESTION and they also confused between COMMAND and REQUEST. This implies that the intonation used to convey different interpretations is basically language-dependent.

Concluding, this study offers a description of the intonation patterns (based on pitch movements) regarding the 3 sentence types with 4 different interpretations. Our findings prove that the intonation for some cases (i.e. for sentences that express COMMAND or STATEMENT) seems to be structure-independent and for others structure-dependent (cf. the interrogative sentences). Additionally, the fact that the negation can play an important role for the choice of intonation pattern (as shown for the case of COMMAND and STATEMENT) could be considered as a structure-dependent feature of intonation. This approach contrasts the approach used for many years in the traditional Grammar according to which the structure alone (sentence type) defines the meaning that is to be conveyed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , 72 p.
National Category
Language Technology (Computational Linguistics)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-2960OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-2960DiVA: diva2:210876
Presentation
(English)
Uppsok
Technology
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2009-04-06 Created: 2009-04-06 Last updated: 2009-10-19Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(1357 kB)445 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 1357 kBChecksum SHA-512
3a41f199afb3157275e17451069236002f45f13fa2473bdc8898ca4baa806863b05b19e7e1aa2b002488b8ba0fe8602b534109cb59361196c318cc20c2652d95
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

By organisation
School of Humanities and Informatics
Language Technology (Computational Linguistics)

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 445 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 410 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf