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      AUTHOR = {Andreeva, Bistra and Barry, William J.},
      TITLE = {Sentence Mode and Emotional Load in Bulgarian: Economy of Intonational Form?},
      YEAR = {2000},
      BOOKTITLE = {Proceedings of the 7th Conference on Laboratory Phonology (LabPhon7), June 29 -July 1},
      ADDRESS = {Nijmegen, Netherlands},
      ABSTRACT = {An earlier study [1] illuminated the role of F0 contours on the focus accent in differentiating question and sentence mode in the Sofia variety of Bulgarian.The results showed that placement of the low target of the pitch accent at the beginning and the peak at the end of the accented syllable or in the following syllable (L*+H) is critical for the perception of (syntactically and lexically unmarked) checks, which are used to confirm already known information [2]. By shifting the peak leftwards towards the beginning of the accented syllable (H*) the pragmatic category changed from check to statement. Both categories have a L% boundary tone. However, subjects' judgements indicated that the strength of the intonational information was not equal for the two utterance types. The situational pre-context had a strong influence on the interpretation of the utterance as a check or statement. In case the intonation contour diverged from the unmarked contour for a particular function, the category judgement was accompanied by a change in the emotional message. To examine the general validity of these observations a further experiment was carried out. Three checks, three statements with low terminal boundary tones (L%), and three statements with continuation rises (H%) were selected from Map Task recordings made for a number of male and female speakers [3]. From each of these 9 natural utterances three intonational variants were generated, one for each pragmatic category. Firstly, a stylised resynthesized version of the original (e.g. a check) was produced. Then the intonation contours for the other two pragmatic categories (e.g. statement with terminal fall and continuation rise) were derived from the stylised contour. Four repetitions of the stimuli were presented (Roman square design) to 15 native speakers of Sofia Bulgarian in three situational contexts: question, neutral statement and polite statement. The context utterance together with the stimulus form a minimal dialogue. The natural context for the check was a statement, and for the two statement forms it was a question. In the test, each context was offered with each pragmatic category, producing potential tension between context and stimulus. The subjects were required to judge - on a five-point scale - the degree to which each stimulus was suited to its context. The results show that all three intonational contours can be accepted as statements in the context of a preceding question, whereas the change of context cannot shift the interpretation of a statement to a check. The following explanation can be offered for this asymmetry of reinterpretation. The context plays an extremely important role for the interpretation of checks or statements. The context priming a statement (question-answer sequence) provides enough information to uniquely specify the communicative frame. It is a strong enough speech act marker to relegate function of the intonational form to a minor one. Thus the context weakens the distinctive function that intonation has when word sequence and syntactic structure are identical.This does not, however, mean that the intonational form is irrelevant. The shift in the interpretation of the sentence mode (check to statement) can only occur because a compensatory change of modal meaning accompanies it. The check contour cannot be accepted as a neutral statement, it can only be accepted as an emphatic, impatient or angry statement. The statements with a continuation rise were also accepted in the statement context, but the compensatory modal message was of an exaggeratedly polite speaker. Apparently, when a typical (neutral) feature of a particular communicative situation is replaced by a feature typical of another situation, it introduces an additional modal marking. Thus intonation alone, without syntactic and lexical support, can imply a certain shade of modal meaning. This phenomenon is already known at the grammatical level. In Bulgarian, for example, the future tense is the neutral form for referring to events in the future. If the present tense is used, the utterance is immediately modally marked as a firm intention. In English and German the reverse is true.}
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