Speech Prosody 2014

Local and Global Acoustic Correlates of Information Structure in Bulgarian

Bistra Andreeva, Jacques Koreman and William Barry
In this study the prosodic exponents of information structure are examined in the production of six Bulgarian sentences under different focus conditions (broad focus and non-contrastive and contrastive narrow focus). Results show that speakers consistently discriminate broad and narrow focus by both local and global acoustic cues. Local cues are the phonetic properties of the accented syllables, while global cues reflect broader phonetic patterns in the intervals before and after the accented syllable, which vary independently of the tonal accent. Contrastive and non-contrastive accents are differentiated exclusively by local cues, but only when the focus is early in the sentence.