The Intonational Phonology of Stockholm Swedish

University dissertation from Stockholm : Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis

Abstract: This thesis develops the phonological model for the Stockholm Swedish intonation system. Though previous research provides a general model of this system, many phonological aspects of it have remained understudied. The intonational options that are available to speakers of Stockholm Swedish are discussed, and it is argued that Stockholm Swedish provides evidence for complex branching of phonological domains.Specifically, it is argued that so called focal accents, which are referred to as (H)LH-accents in the present work, have essentially two different functions. First, they signal information structural categories such as focus. Second, they signal left edges of Intonation Phrases (IP). It is also argued that a wide range of options exist in the post-nuclear area. Six types of contours for such areas are distinguished, plus one additional rising contour when there are no post-nuclear accents.Based on these findings, I present an account of the branching options for the phonological categories in the Stockholm Swedish prosodic hierarchy. I argue that there is evidence for recursive phonological structures in Stockholm Swedish, i.e. that a mother node and a daughter node can belong to the same phonological category. Also, Stockholm Swedish provides evidence for a distinction between prosodic coordination (equal sister nodes) and prosodic adjunction (unequal sister nodes). Prosodic structure is mapped onto syntactic structure via a set of variably ranked Optimality Theoretic constraints. The relation between phonological and syntactic structure shows that the phonology prefers prosodic coordination (equal sisters) over adjunction (unequal sisters).The material for the study comprises a corpus of approximately 420 read sentences, which were specifically designed to test various phonological hypotheses, and approximately 17 minutes of uncontrolled speech.

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