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Temporal effects of focus in Swedish
KTH, Superseded Departments, Speech, Music and Hearing.
2001 (English)In: Journal of Phonetics, ISSN 0095-4470, E-ISSN 1095-8576, Vol. 29, no 3, 329-361 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The four experiments reported concern the amount and domain of lengthening associated with focal accents in Swedish. Word, syllable and segment durations were measured in read sentences with focus in different positions. As expected, words with focal accents were longer than nonfocal words in general, but the amount of lengthening varied greatly, primarily due to speaker differences but also to position in the phrase and the word accent distinction. Most of the lengthening occurred within the stressed syllable. An analysis of the internal structure of stressed syllables showed that the phonologically long segments-whether vowels or consonants-were lengthened most, while the phonologically short vowels were hardly affected at all. Through this nonlinear lengthening, the contrast between long and short vowels in stressed syllables was sharpened in focus. Thus, the domain of focal accent lengthening includes at least the stressed syllable. Also, an unstressed syllable immediately to the right of the stressed one was lengthened in focus, while initial unstressed syllables, as well as unstressed syllables to the right of the first unstressed one, were not lengthened. Thus, we assume the domain of focal accent lengthening in Swedish to be restricted to the stressed syllable and the immediately following unstressed one.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. Vol. 29, no 3, 329-361 p.
Keyword [en]
english, stress, dutch, information, syllables
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-21152ISI: 000172549700004OAI: diva2:339849
QC 20100525Available from: 2010-08-10 Created: 2010-08-10Bibliographically approved

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Heldner, Mattias
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