SUPRASEGMENTAL CHARACTERISTICS OF TEXTS OF VARIOUS GENRES
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A phonetic investigation of various types of texts is definitely justified since all genres have their specific features in the way they sound. In a two-task perception test, the author intended to find out whether the genre of a text can be identified by listening to its suprasegmental structure only, and if it can, which suprasegmental feature is the most characteristic of which genre. She also wished to find an answer to the question of whether the suprasegmental characteristics of the individual genres can be identified irrespective of the language and/or the cultural setting involved. The test was administered to three age groups, as well as to both Hungarians and non-Hungarians. It was assumed that the identification of certain genres is unproblematic in all age groups but there will be genres that are more difficult to determine. Another hypothesis was that, irrespective of the distinct intonational and stress structures of the various languages, the sound of certain genres is more culture-dependent than based on linguistic differences. The results show that spontaneous dialogues were the easiest to recognise. All Hungarian groups of subjects identified sermons relatively confidently, whereas non-Hungarians did not. Significant differences were also found between Hungarians and foreigners with respect to poems and tales. The tempo of rendering and the characteristics of pauses turned out to be the features most relevant for genre identification.
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