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The Dialogical Dimension of Intonational Meaning: Evidence from French

Abstract : The aim of the present study was to test experimentally the claim that the meaning of intonational contours involves speaker commitment and attitude attribution to the addressee (Beyssade and Marandin,2007). Specifically, we examined whether the pragmatic choice of a contour signals how the speaker (S) anticipates the reaction of the addressee (A) to his/her utterance by attributing attitudes to him/her and calling for his/her further move. We focused on four French contours (a fall L*L%, a rise H*H%, a rise-fall H*L% and a rise-fall-rise H+!H*H%). In an original forced-choice interpretation task, participants heard sentences carrying one of the contours and had to react by choosing among four possible reactions designed according to their hypothesized link to contour meaning (I've got it; I don't know; You may be right; Yes, it's no joke). The results show that L*L% was consistently associated with "I've got it", which confirms that A did not know proposition p before and signals that p was added to the common ground, and H*H% with "I don't know", which rejects S's attribution to A of knowledge about p. They give experimental support to the view that intonational meaning is dialogical and relies on a collaborative activity.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01485956
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Submitted on : Thursday, July 22, 2021 - 3:24:36 PM
Last modification on : Friday, March 18, 2022 - 3:09:01 AM
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Cristel Portes, Claire Beyssade, Amandine Michelas, Jean-Marie Marandin, Maud Champagne-Lavau. The Dialogical Dimension of Intonational Meaning: Evidence from French. Journal of Pragmatics, Elsevier, 2014, 74, pp.15-29. ⟨10.1016/j.pragma.2014.08.013⟩. ⟨hal-01485956⟩

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