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Prosody as syntactic marker (was Re: A Language built around a novel grammar)

From:taliesin the storyteller <taliesin-conlang@...>
Date:Monday, November 27, 2006, 8:24
* Jonathan Knibb said on 2006-11-24 17:49:32 +0100
> Henrik wrote: > > Ah. So accent for marking branching. So you do have > > additional operators for indicating clause structure -- > > what a relief. :-) > > That's not operators, that's pitch accents - totally different. :)) OK, > maybe I should consider the accents as a third "word class". Is there > ANADEW here? Does any natlang use conventionalised prosody > systematically to indicate syntactic structure?
AFAIK all of them do, to show when a clause ends. How they do it varies somewhat, though :) Eastern Norwegian goes flat until the stressed word, then up until the end of the sentence. Western Norwegian goes down until the stressed word, then goes way up on the stressed word, then continues down until the end of the sentence. (This is the common European pattern btw). Akan (Ghana) is a register-tone language with downstep, it goes steadily down for the entire sentence then is back up for the next. Etc. t.