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Abstract

The paper presents the interpretation and explanation of the findings of two pieces of experimental research within the framework of Varga's (2016) pitch-tier model of the Hungarian declarative sentence. One of the experiments was established to investigate the information-structural contribution of quantified expressions (such as mindhárom barátom ‘all three of my friends’ and Csaba is ‘Csaba also’). The other experiment explored the acoustic features of the spontaneous-speech specific discourse marker hát ‘well/so’. The two topics can be regarded as interconnected if Varga's model is interpreted in the strong sense that pitch – presumably in a more or less strong correlation with intensity – is responsible for indicating the topic–comment dichotomy and other factors of the discourse-embedding of sentences. Thus, the reconciliation of our data with Varga's model requires the consideration of the pitch-tier substructures in their complex dynamism. The experiments support the plausible hypothesis that the variants of the discourse marker hát as part of the preparatory contour primarily differ in duration, while is-quantifiers in different pitch-tier parts differ in terms of pitch values.

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