Elizabeth Couper-Kuhlen
Table of contents

The term prosody is current both in the fields of literature and of linguistics. In literary studies it is used to refer to the metrical analysis of verse, while in linguistics its denotation encompasses not only stress- and accent-related phenomena in language use, but also diverse types of melodic or pitch-related, and dynamic or loudness-related speech modulation. In addition, it is used for the temporal manipulation of syllables and segments – whether with respect to their duration (stretching and clipping) or with respect to their timing (rhythm and rate of speech). Prosodic features create auditory effects in spoken language above and beyond those which identify the sound segments themselves. They are in one sense distinct to speech, but of course also virtually present in many written forms of verbal communication.

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