The realization of pitch reset in Finnish print interpreting data

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Speakers use intonation in order to group spoken sentences together
into larger units. One such grouping is often referred to as “paragraph intonation.” One of its principal characteristics is that the beginning of a new speech paragraph is marked with a high pitch level at the beginning of the first spoken sentence. This phenomenon is called “pitch reset.” The present article discusses the role of the pitch reset in Finnish data coming from two situations where conference-like monologous presentations are being interpreted by professional print interpreters. “Print interpreting” is a mode of communication where the speech is being simultaneously transferred into written form so that deaf and hard-of-hearing people can have access to it.

The study shows, on the one hand, that the pitch reset phenomenon can be
found also in Finnish data. On the other hand, the results show that the pitch
reset constitutes a prosodic sign that almost always leads to a paragraph division in the written target text. This implies that the print interpreters treat speech paragraphs as topical units, and that the pitch reset plays an important role in the structuring of discourse. The study is mainly based on Wichmann’s (2000) approach, which constitutes an interface between discourse analysis and intonation studies.
Translated title of the contributionSävelkorkeuden nollaamisen toteutuminen suomenkielisessä kirjoitustulkkausaineistossa
Original languageEnglish
JournalText & Talk
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)491–520
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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