Amalia Arvaniti has been professor of Linguistics at the department of English Language and Linguistics at the University of Kent (UK) since 2012. Arvaniti (Larisa, Greece, 1963) received her PhD from the Department of Linguistics at the University of Cambridge in 1991 and has since held research and teaching appointments at the University of Kent, the University of California, San Diego, the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, the University of Edinburgh, King’s College London, and the University of Cyprus. Her research focuses on phonetics and its relation to phonology, bilingualism, and sociophonetics.
On The Phonetics and Phonology of H* and L+H* in English and Greek
In this talk, I will first review some characteristics of intonation that make its study challenging particularly when it comes to disentangling linguistic from paralinguistic aspects of F0, intonation’s main phonetic exponent. I will critically appraise the success of AM in tackling these issues and present results emerging from my own research on English and Greek. These results pertain to the contrast between H* (an accent typically used to highlight new information) and L+H* (an accent typically used to highlight contrastive information). The contrast between these two accents is uncontroversial for Greek but disputed with respect to English. I will show how investigating the two accents using Functional Principal Component Analysis (fPCA) to understand variation in F0 and additional parameters (such as duration and energy curves), can help us draw informed conclusions about this contrast in English and Greek. More generally, these findings help shed light on the relation between the phonetics and phonology of intonation and disentangle linguistic from paralinguistic aspects of F0 use.