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date: 23 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article explores the effects of F-marking (focus) on intonation and on tonal height in intonation, with particular emphasis on German and Mandarin Chinese. It begins with a discussion of the role of stress in the sentence melody and how focus leads to changes in the stress pattern that affect the sentence melody. It then considers the effects of focus on tonal height and suggests that they are really effects of stress on tonal height, triggered because focus attracts stress; focus leads to destressing in non-focused parts of the sentence. It also presents the results of Féry and Kügler (2008) regarding the effects of focus on tonal height in German, showing that there is a further tonal height effect of focus that relates to stress, namely the cancellation of height-subordination due to stresses on earlier elements (‘upstep’).

Keywords: F-marking, intonation, tonal height, German, Mandarin Chinese, stress, sentence melody, focus, height-subordination, upstep

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