Word melodies vs. pitch accents: A perceptual evaluation of terracing contours in British and Nigerian English

Carlos Gussenhoven, Radboud University Nijmegen/Queen Mary University of London
Inyang Udofot, University of Uyo

The results of a perception experiment in which Nigerian English listeners judged the well-formedness of Nigerian English intonation contours suggests that the language has tonal specifications for each syllable, including syllables that are unstressed in British English. The association of pitch accents to accented syllables in British English explains why British English listeners are relatively insensitive to deviations in the pitch of unstressed or unaccented syllables.