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Reuven Tsur


overaticulation of such word-final stop releases may also be a part of the means by which this particular actor, in this particular performance, characterizes Gloucester as a relentless, determined person. Such an interpretation can rely on many more overarticulated stops in this speech.
I will not scan the entire first speech for such instances; I will only pay some attention to the first line of excerpt 2, "Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace" (see figures 1 and 7). The stop release in weak isn't very remarkable; but is preceded by a most remarkable "articulatory" pause (0.183 msec), in midword (!). It is perceived as gross overarticulation of the [k]. Shakespeare provides in the rest of this line four more conspicuous oral stops in syllable-initial position: a [t] and three more [p]s, two of them in piping.As the wave plot shows (figures 1 and 7), each one of these [p]s begins with a vigorous perturbation of the sound wave, and is preceded by a pause. The most intriguing pause is in the middle of piping,0.092 msec long, whose only conceivable purpose is the overarticulation of the second [p]. This is further reinforced by the two discontinuous though steadily falling intonation contours assigned to them (see figure 1). The [p] of peaceis preceded by a 103 msec pause. This pause conspicuously occurs in midphrase: the preposition "of" is run into the preceding "time", while there is no acoustic trace of [f]; and the two words are assigned one consistent intonation contour. The pause is reinforced by the notable pitch discontinuation: from the bottom of the intonation contour assigned to "timeof" there is a leap from 68 Hz to 158 Hz (wherefrom the curve falls again to 80 Hz). A long pause (perceivedas a pause) precedes the first [p] of piping.This has a rhetorical purpose in the first place; but it affects the overarticulation of the [p] too. As an additional function, there is here a metric problem too. The overarticulated weakis a heavily stressed syllable in a weak (odd-numbered) position. This arouses strong craving for the reinstatement of metre in the next strong position. The huge leap of pitch from weakto pi-and the overarticulation by the preceding pause serve to counterbalance the infringement. The [t] (of time)too is preceded by a brief, 0.047 msec pause. The cumulative impact of overarticulated stops in general, and [p]s in particular may be perceived as expressive of the speaker's attitudes in two respects: he is determined ("I am determinèd to prove a villain"), and is contemptful of "this weak piping time of peace" ("And hate the idle pleasures of these days").

IMAGE imgs/Phonetic_cues_(intuit)_107.gif

p aj Figure 7

p ingtajmopea Wave plot of "piping time of peace"


A look at the terminal intonation curve in figure 3 may reveal another illuminating aspect of the speaker's irony. The line ends with a fully developed terminal contour, but with a difference. In the preceding line (figure 1), as we have seen, the terminal contour falls from 158 Hz to 80 Hz (the terminal contour in figure 4 falls from 106 Hz to 66 Hz); in figure 3 it falls from 190 Hz, to 122 Hz, wherefrom it continues to 120 Hz. This relatively high pitch sequence appears to have both a rhythmic and an expressive function. In its rhythmic function it has two relevant aspects: it has a terminal shape, but is higher than usual. It clearly articulates the line boundary and, at the same time, suggests that