The timing of nuclear and prenuclear Icelandic pitch accents

Nicole Dehe, Universitaet Konstanz, FB Sprachwissenschaft

Two experiments were designed to test F0 alignment in Icelandic pitch accents with a view to establishing distinct intonational categories. Four conditions were tested: (i) prenuclear accents; (ii) final nuclear accents in broad focus sentences; (iii) final narrow focus; (iv) non-final narrow focus. The results are such that (i) prenuclear accents are signaled by a late rise (LH*), final nuclear accents by an early rise; (ii) peaks in prefinal nuclear accents are aligned earlier than prenuclear peaks, but later than final nuclear peaks, suggesting a boundary effect; (iii) no differences emerged between accents in sentences with broad and narrow focus.