Towards a typological classification and description of HRTs in a multidialectal corpus of contemporary English

Author(s): Stephan Wilhelm

Abstract

This paper investigates some of the phonetic characteristics of the High Rising Terminal (HRT), a major intonational innovation now attested in numerous dialects of English worldwide. Based on a corpus containing recordings of different geographical varieties of contemporary English, it presents an inventory of the intonation patterns used to realize the HRT. It also suggests that late rising could prove a useful discriminatory criterion to distinguish HRTs from the rises traditionally observed on declaratives in Northern British varieties of English (Urban North British Intonation). Some concluding remarks are made on the syntactic structure of the segments with which the High Rising Terminal is associated.

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