As each language can be said to have an "inventory" of pitch movements which are felicitous (?) or anyway possible, I wonder what sequences of pitch movements characterize English (but not e.g. French or vice-versa).

  • You are asking for the inventory of ToBI symbols?
    – user6726
    Aug 16 '16 at 14:53
  • No, I mean independent of ToBI. For ex., in Dutch a rise cannot be followed by a rise without a fall in the middle.
    – Teusz
    Aug 17 '16 at 7:51

"Pitch movements" presupposes a phonemicization of F0 into discrete elements. You can compute F0 at a specific short window, but "movement" implies abstraction from the short window to a longer window, perhaps corresponding to a syllable, foot or word. ToBI is one way of doing that, but you're asking for something that's independent of ToBI. The presupposition seems to be that there is an independent, self-evident phonemicization of the intermediate-size window of F0 patterning, akin to the "phones" of a narrow segmental phonetic transcription. But there isn't. ToBI is one method of reducing physical; Trager and Smith have another, likewise Bollinger; there is the British school of Halliday / Wells / Roach / Crystal.

So you have to start by identifying the theory of data-reduction that you want to assume, because a question about "patterns of movement" requires that you abstract away from F0.

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