School of Languages and Linguistics - Research Publications

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    Intonational rises and dialogue acts in the Australian English map task
    FLETCHER, J ; STIRLING, LF ; MUSHIN, I ; WALES, RJ (Sage Publications, 2002)
    Eight map task dialogs representative of General Australian English, were coded for speaker turn, and for dialog acts using a version of SWBD-DAMSL, a dialog act annotation scheme. High, low, simple, and complex rising tunes, and any corresponding dialog act codes were then compared. Dialog acts corresponding to information requests were consistently realized as high-onset high rises ((L +)H*H-H%). However low-onset high rises (e.g., L*H-H%) corresponded to a wider range of other "forward-looking" communicative functions, such as statements and action directives, and were rarely associated with information requests. Low-range rises (L*L-H%), by contrast, were mostly associated with backward-looking functions, like acknowledgments and responses, that is they were almost always used when the speaker was referring to what had occurred previously in the discourse. Two kinds of fall-rise tunes were also examined: the low-range fall-rise (H *L-H%) and the expanded range fall-rise (H* + L H-H%). The latter shared similar dialog functions with statement high rises, and were almost never associated with yes/no questions, whereas the low-range fall-rises were associated more with backward-looking functions, such as responses or acknowledgments. The Australian English statement high rise (usually realized as a L* H-H% tune) or "uptalk," appears to be more closely related to the classic continuation rises, than to yes/no question rises of typologically-related varieties of English.