Edited by Ingo Feldhausen, Martin Elsig, Imme Kuchenbrandt and Mareike Neuhaus
[Romance Languages and Linguistic Theory 15] 2019
► pp. 136–156
Chapter 7. Intonation of alternative constructions in French
Which cues allow distinguishing statements from questions?
Alternative questions in French are described as ending by a falling contour, while a rising contour occurs on the non-final conjuncts. This configuration is very similar to the one observed in statements with a disjunction. The similarity at the phonological level raises the following questions: Are intonational contours equally implemented at a phonetic level in questions and statements? If not, what are the acoustic cues that allow for distinguishing the two sentence types? The aim of this study is to show that the phonetic implementation of the intonation contours at the end of both sentence-medial and sentence-final conjuncts differ in alternative questions and statements with a disjunction in French. This finding may deepen our understanding on the relation between intonation and meaning.