This thesis is a data-based examination of the intonation system in Scottish English. As an introduction to
the thesis I examine briefly the physical and psychophysical correlates of intonation. I then go on to discuss
the work of two of the main investigators in the field of
British intonation — D. Crystal and M.A.K. Halliday. An
initial analysis of the data-base with reference to the
analyses proposed by Crystal and Halliday led me to set up
a series of experiments to test the reality of the notion
'tonic'. These experiments are described in detail.
Six readings of a text are then examined with specific
reference to pause duration and fundamental frequency
measurements. The results of the 'tonic' experiments and
the measurements of the texts prompted me to propose a
contour system analysis of intonation. I propose that
there is a neutral contour in Scottish English (specifically Edinburgh Scottish English) which is typified by two
stressed peaks of prominence which deviate from a baseline
of unstressed syllables. This contour varies its realisation according to its function eg. the initial peak is
boosted when a new topic is introduced.
Support for such a contour system analysis is provided
from the literature of various languages (specifically
Dutch, German, Russian and Danish).