Intonations and functions of questions in Helsinki Swedish conversations

  • Martina Huhtamäki


This is a qualitative study of questions in the Swedish variety spoken in Helsinki, Finland. Focus is on the intonation contours and functions of the questions. The data consist of recordings of spontaneous conversations. The study connects to the methodological framework of interactional linguistics, and the questions are analyzed sequentially and phonetically.
The results show that the intonation contours of the questions resemble those of Sweden Swedish and Finnish. There is no direct relationship between the intonation contour of a question and its function, but intonation is used to distinguish between utterances inside the category of questions. Also other features take part in the function of the question, that is, syntactical, lexical, sequential and epistemic factors.