Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Intonation and variation: the multiplicity of forms and senses

Sandra Madureira


This work focuses on the multiplicity of forms which the intonation patterns may have and the multiple senses they express. The background for discussing these issues is vocal gestuality taken as an index of the biological, psychological and social characteristics of the speaker. The intonation sound patterns vary according to sociolinguistic features, dialect type and speech style and they are used to express modalities, regional and social characteristics, propositional and social attitudes and affective states. The intervening factors in the relation between form and meaning are numerous and they interfere with the perception of the intonation patterns. Results from acoustic and perceptual experiments in several languages are presented and their contribution to the study of the communicative functions and variability of intonation are discussed.

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