Categoriality and continuity in prosodic prominence

Simon Roessig  


Prosody has been described as being shaped by both discrete, categorical aspects as well as gradient, continuous phenomena. This book is concerned with the relation of these two sides of prosodic prominence. It reviews problems that arise from a strict separation of categorical and continuous representations in models of phonetics and phonology, and it explores the potential role of descriptions aimed at reconciling the two domains. In doing so, the book offers an introduction to dynamical systems, a framework that has been studied extensively in the last decades to model speech production and perception. The reported acoustic and articulatory data presented in this book show that categorical and continuous modulations used to enhance prosodic prominence are deeply intertwined and even exhibit a kind of symbiosis. A multi-dimensional dynamical model of prosodic prominence is sketched, based on the empirical data, combining tonal and articulatory aspects of prosodic focus marking. The model demonstrates how categorical and continuous aspects can be integrated in a joint theoretical treatment that overcomes a strict separation of phonetics and phonology.

This book was awarded the Offermann-Hergarten-Preis in 2021.


Author Biography

Simon Roessig, University of Cologne

Simon Roessig (1989) studied linguistics, phonetics and information processing at the University of Cologne. After a couple of years working as a software developer, he returned to university to pursue his PhD which he finished in 2020. His research encompasses different aspects of prosody, from tonal phenomena to effects of prosodic structure on supra-laryngeal articulation. The overarching research question in his work concerns characterisations of the relation between the continuous and the categorical aspects of prosody, and of speech in general. Most recently, Roessig has been using dynamical modelling approaches to demonstrate their potential for an adequate account of signal-based and symbol-based aspects of prosody within a single model.

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January 28, 2021
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Roessig, Simon. 2021. Categoriality and continuity in prosodic prominence. (Studies in Laboratory Phonology 10). Berlin: Language Science Press. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.4121875


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