Do mitigation strategies affect prosodic correlates?

An investigation on orders and requests in Italian




intonation, orders, requests, Lecce Italian, Autosegmental Metrical framework


This paper aims to identify whether and to what extent mitigation procedures affect the intonational pattern of orders and requests produced by Italian speakers (from Lecce), within different social distances contexts. Data were collected using a variant of the Discourse Completion Task (DCT) and analyzed within the Autosegmental Metrical framework, on the basis of auditory perception, analysis of the phonological function and exploration of the F0 contour. The results indicate that 1) the intonational patterns of orders and requests differ especially when the latter are expressed by the interrogative form and specifically, as far as intonation is concerned, by a different boundary tone. Moreover, 2) the presence of lexical means of mitigation and the low social distance interact in a complex manner in orders and request, but often favors more peremptory, less neutral patterns.




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