zur StartseiteForschungRechercheKursePerson
Stephanie Köser
The Munich peak point contour

The topic of this analysis is a holistic intonation contour occurring in the Munich urban variety of German. This contour is characterised by an accent realized with a sharp rise and fall in frequency. This spike is further characterised by minimal movement of the contour around the peak accent, before and after the accented syllable. Because of this features the Munich peak point contour has strong prominence.

In addition to describing the phonetic realisation of this accent, I analysed the contexts and functions it fulfils in conversation. The latter was done with help of conversation analysis in combination with contextualisation theory. In short, the peak point contour takes place in contexts of argumentation and assessment sequences and seems to function in broader contexts as a contextualisation device for some special activities and attitudes: primarily it signals special emphasis. An additional function is highlighting, predominantly in final position, often used as a résumé. In this sense the highlighting function is a more local activity in deference to the more global signalling effect of emphasis. Last but not least, the peak point contour often contextualises heightened involvement of the speaker.

last update: 03.08.2005