Volume 18, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0929-998X
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9765
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This article is a quantitative examination of the function of prosody in distinguishing between the genres of oral performance and expository discourse in Ahtna, an Athabascan language of south-central Alaska. Within the framework of the intonation unit (e.g., Chafe 1987) I examine features of prosody related to both timing (intonation unit length and duration, pause duration and distribution, and syllable pacing) and pitch (pitch reset, boundary tones, and intonational phrasing). I show to a statistically significant degree that most of the prosodic burden of distinguishing genre is carried by a particular intonation contour that is associated with Ahtna oral performance and causes several measurable distinctions between genres.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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