Prosodic characteristics of exclamatives and questions in Estonian

Heete Sahkai, Eva Liina Asu, Pärtel Lippus
2021 1st International Conference on Tone and Intonation (TAI)   unpublished
This study investigates the prosody of Estonian exclamations as compared to questions. The materials consisted of string-identical wh-exclamatives and wh-interrogatives that were elicited using contexts prompting the two different readings. The data was recorded from 21 female speakers of Standard Estonian. The analysis revealed various important prosodic differences between the two speech acts. First of all, exclamations were characterised by the presence of a prominent pitch accent that has
more » ... so been found to signal exclamatives in other languages. Exclamations also showed a significantly longer duration of the whole utterance which could be associated with their expressive nature. Exclamations and questions did not, however, differ with respect to pitch range. Other characteristics of exclamations were a significantly lower mean f0 including both lower initial and final pitch as well as more frequent occurrence and a larger proportion of creaky voice towards the end of the utterance. Additionally, differences between the two speech acts in the placement of the nuclear pitch accent were found.
doi:10.21437/tai.2021-9 fatcat:4go37t22e5aajajoamwcg44h4a