Working paper Open Access
This paper investigates intonational characteristics of questions distinct from statements in North Kyungsang Korean. A variety of F0 targets are compared between the two sentence types, including pitch accent F0 peak, utterance-final edge, pitch range and F0 valleys. The acoustic analyses show that yes/no questions have significantly higher F0 values at the right edge and higher and earlier occurrences of the rightmost F0 valley.
Perceptual salience of these acoustic cues is investigated through forced-choice identification tests, where it turns out that only the utterance-final edge F0 is a strong perceptual cue to distinguish between questions and statements. This study suggests that NK Korean conforms to the “universality” of question intonation in a broad sense, but the realization of acoustic cues and their perceptual salience are constrained by some kind of language-specificity.