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ERIC Number: EJ845370
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 39
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 45
ISSN: ISSN-0023-8309
Language-Specificity in the Perception of Paralinguistic Intonational Meaning
Chen, Aoju; Gussenhoven, Carlos; Rietveld, Toni
Language and Speech, v47 n4 p311-349 2004
This study examines the perception of paralinguistic intonational meanings deriving from Ohala's Frequency Code (Experiment 1) and Gussenhoven's Effort Code (Experiment 2) in British English and Dutch. Native speakers of British English and Dutch listened to a number of stimuli in their native language and judged each stimulus on four semantic scales deriving from these two codes: SELF-CONFIDENT versus NOT SELF-CONFIDENT, FRIENDLY versus NOT FRIENDLY (Frequency Code); SURPRISED versus NOT SURPRISED, and EMPHATIC versus NOT EMPHATIC (Effort Code). The stimuli, which were lexically equivalent across the two languages, differed in pitch contour, pitch register and pitch span in Experiment 1, and in pitch register, peak height, peak alignment and end pitch in Experiment 2. Contrary to the traditional view that the paralinguistic usage of intonation is similar across languages, it was found that British English and Dutch listeners differed considerably in the perception of "confident," "friendly," "emphatic," and "surprised." The present findings support a theory of paralinguistic meaning based on the universality of biological codes, which however acknowledges a language-specific component in the implementation of these codes. (Contains 2 tables, 17 figures and 13 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Netherlands; United Kingdom