Towards a multidimensional approach to intonation

The analysis of questions in Genoese




intonation, questions, Genoese, review, methods


This contribution represents a first intonational analysis of questions in Genoese. Based on the literature, it is well known that polar questions in Genoa Italian display a certain degree of variation. In this study, we intend to verify if this variability involves the dialect (Genoese) as well and, if so, to provide a preliminary ‘multidimensional’ analysis, i.e., one which carefully considers form, context and discourse-pragmatic functions. With the aid of an innovative tool for visualizing intonational contours based on periodic energy, i.e., the periogram, we show that there is indeed a high degree of variability in the realization of polar questions in Genoese as well as clear-cut intonational differences, on the one hand, between polar and wh-questions and, on the other hand, between rhetorical and non-rhetorical questions.



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