Published July 8, 2021 | Version v1
Conference paper Open

Modifications of tongue body kinematics as a focus marking strategy in German

  • 1. University of Cologne


The present study investigates articulatory modulations of prosodic prominence. Therefore, tongue body kinematics of 27 German speakers are analysed using Electromagnetic Articulography. Our data show that tongue positions and partly also peak velocities are systematically modulated in order to increase prominence. When examining the vertical and horizontal movement dimension, we observe a combination of different highlighting strategies involving the enhancement of sonority and place features for low and back vowels. The results suggest that the parameter modifications are not only a concomitant of accent but rather reflect a continuous increase in prosodic prominence from background through broad and narrow to contrastive focus. We therefore conclude that the tongue body is involved in prosodic strengthening in German and encodes varying degrees of prosodic prominence.



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