Corpus Linguistics & Linguistic Theory. Oct2017, Vol. 13 Issue 2, p321-368. 48p. 4 Charts, 8 Graphs.
Intonation (Phonetics), Corpora (Linguistics), Context (Linguistics), Accents & accentuation, and English language -- United States
In order to investigate the distinct nuances of meaning conveyed by the different intonational contours encountered in yes-no questions in English, we conducted a corpus study of the intonation of 410 naturally occurring spoken interrogative-form yes-no questions in American English. First we annotated the intonation of each question using ToBI and then examined the meaning of each utterance in the context. We found that the low-rise nuclear contour (e.g., L*H-H%) is the unmarked question contour and is by far the most frequently occurring. Yes-no questions with falling intonation (e.g. H*L-L%) do not occur frequently, but when they do, they can be classified in speech act terms as “non-genuine” questions, where one or more felicity conditions on genuine questions are not met. Level questions (e.g., L*H-L%) tend to be “stylized” in meaning and pattern with falling questions in being non-genuine. We also found that the pitch accent on high-rise questions (e.g., H*H-H%), where the final pitch contour starts high and ends higher, tends to mark information that is given in the discourse or a function word. These are syllables that would normally remain unaccented parts of the post-nuclear “tail” of the intonation phrase. This leads us to propose that many such accents are “post-nuclear accents” in the sense of Ladd 2008. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Chinese language, Sentence particles (Grammar), Conjunctions (Grammar), Interrogative (Grammar), and Discourse
In a recent paper, Biberauer et al. (2014b) claim that the Chinese sentence-final particles (SFPs) ne and ma only “double” the information encoded elsewhere in the sentence and are to be analyzed as “acategorial” conjunctions. This contrasts with the current analysis of, e.g. ma as an interrogative force head. The present article provides evidence in favour of the SFPs ma and ne as C-elements and challenges some of the preconceived ideas commonly encountered in the literature. Within the head-final split CP proposed for Chinese ‘Low C < Force < Attitude’, ma instantiates a Force head, whereas ne realizes the discourse-related AttitudeP, not a wh -question typing particle ( pace Lisa L.-S. Cheng's, 1991 ). Furthermore, evidence is provided to show that the surface sentence-final position of SFPs in Chinese must be taken at face value. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Hench, Atcheson L., Frink, Orrin, Moe, Albert F., Coffee, Jessie A., Faris, Paul, Thomas, J. D., and Stone, Edward
American Speech. Oct62, Vol. 37 Issue 3, p222. 11p.
English language, Terms & phrases, and No (The English word)
Discusses several issues related to the English language. Information on the substandard affirmative and negative response yes and no in spoken English in the U.S.; Usage of the term re-up in the U.S. Army; Details on the use of the term hain't and ain't in the book 'Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,' by Mark Twain.