Van Heuven, V. J., Haan, J., Janse, E., & Van der Torre, E. J.
(1997). Perceptual identification of sentence type and the time-distribution of prosodic interrogativity markers in Dutch. In Proceedings of the ESCA Tutorial and Research Workshop on Intonation: Theory, Models and Applications, Athens, Greece, 1997 (pp. 317-320).
Dutch distinguishes at least four sentence types: statements and questions, the latter type being subdivided into wh-questions (beginning with a question word), yes/no-questions (with inversion of subject and finite), and declarative questions (lexico-syntactically identical to statement). Acoustically, each of these (sub)types was found to have clearly distinct global F0-patterns, as well as a characteristic distribution of final rises [1,2]. The present paper explores the separate contribution of parameters of global downtrend and size of accent-lending pitch movements versus aspects of the terminal rise to the human identification of the four sentence (sub)types, at various positions in the time-course of the utterance. The results show that interrogativity in Dutch can be identified at an early point in the utterance. However, wh-questions are not distinct from statements.