How to Tell Beans from Farmers: Cues to the Perception of Pitch Accent in Whispered Norwegian

  • Hannele Nicholson University of Oxford
  • Andreas Hilmo Teig University of Oxford
Keywords: Whispering, Pitch Accent, Norwegian Language, Perception, Prosodic Cues


East Norwegian employs pitch accent contours in order to make lexical distinctions. This paper researches listeners' ability to make lexical distinctions in the absence of f0 (ie. whispered speech) as the listener attempts to determine which pitch accent word token best fits into a whispered ambiguous utterance in spoken Norwegian. The results confirm that local syntactic context alone is not a reliable cue to assist in lexical selection and concur with Fintoft (1970) in suggesting that listeners utilise a separate prosodic cue, possibly syllable duration or intensity, to make the pitch accent distinction in whispered speech.