This extensive field study and comprehensive analysis of existing scholarship provides a solid basis for interpreting the peculiar and much-debated Serbocroatian accentuation. Although addressed to Slavists in particular, the book also opens possibilities for linguists investigating the ways in which "accent" can be defined and utilized in various linguistic systems.The authors have been working together on Serbocroatian accentuation for more than two decades. The book summarizes their earlier findings and adds a wealth of new materials. It contains the results of thousands of spectrographic measurements of a rich corpus of data concerning word accentuation and sentence intonation, as well as the results of a series of listening tests that clarify the nature of the distinction between so-called falling and rising accents. Because Serbocroatian is one of the IndoEuropean languages with the most complex prosodic patterns, it is extremely important for comparative linguistics and also highly interesting from a typological viewpoint. The interplay of word accents and sentence intonation has offered an especially attractive subject of study for scholars. This book surveys the results of their work and reviews the rich variety of opinions expressed so far. A concluding section focuses on the authors own view, which takes into account not only the invariant elements in the relation between so-called falling and rising accents, but also the variation connected with the syllabic structure of the word and its position in the sentence and with the regional origin of the speaker.
Word and Sentence Prosody in Serbocroatian is thirteenth in the series Current Studies in Linguistics, edited by Jay Keyser.