Previous research has indicated that the H (high) of a nuclear accent may be realized as a flat stretch of contour rather than as a single turning point. Both the duration of this plateau and its alignment within the accented syllable are affected by the segmental and prosodic structure of the utterance. The present work investigates whether a non-structural variable, namely pitch span, also affects the realization of the plateau. Speakers replicated all-sonorant utterances in different pitch spans. Results show that both the duration and alignment of the plateau vary with pitch span but in ways different from the way they vary with prosodic structure. Importantly, results also indicate that, when using a proportional measure of alignment, the end of the plateau is anchored within the syllable for each speaker and may be a marker of linguistic structure.
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