Downgrading the Importance of What Is Said via Prosodic Cues:A Comparative Perspective on the Use of Stylised Intonation Contours in French and in Finnish
April 2008. Volume 3 Issue 1
Downgrading the Importance of What Is Said via Prosodic Cues:A Comparative Perspective on the Use
of Stylised Intonation Contours in French and in Finnish
University of Helsinki, Finland
Mari Lehtinen currently works as a researcher and an instructor at the Department of Romance Languages of the University of Helsinki (Finland). So far, she has published eight scientific articles and presented 15 conference papers. She is also one of the five editors of SKY Journal of Linguistics, a refereed general linguistic journal published by The Linguistic Association of Finland. Originally a teacher of French and Philosophy, she used to work as a schoolteacher before entering the academic world.
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The aim of this article is to provide an overview of the results of a comparative study concerning the use of certain intonation contours in French and in Finnish. More precisely, I point out that certain prosodic features are used to convey similar kinds of modal implications in these two fundamentally different languages. Acoustically, the contours under consideration consist of one or several pitch rises. Concerning their uses, the most essential feature is that they are both typically used to index a poor information value. Methodologically, the work falls within the scope of conversation analysis (CA).
Keywords: Prosody, Intonation, Intonation patterns, Conversation Analysis, Pitch rises