Research project "The prosody of public speech" should be seen in the perspective of the significance given to the areas of speaking style variation and expressive speech during the last decades.
The research project concerns prosody – in particular pausing, fluency, and tonal variation including focus and emphasis – in speech presented publicly. The analyzed material will include interviews and political speeches as well as newscasts. The purpose is to identify features which characterize public speech, both read and spontaneous, through comparisons with non-public speech. This research is theoretically important, as it increases our knowledge of how human speech can be optimally adjusted to the communicative situation. Public speech offers a possibility to study speech that can be seen as extreme in this respect. In politics and elsewhere when burning issues are at stake and where often seriously committed individuals are involved, a rich expressive repertoire is made use of. In this domain, prosody has a major role. Knowledge gained within the project may further be expected to be practically applicable.