On the role of prosody in disambiguating wh-exclamatives and wh-interrogatives in Cosenza Italian

Abstract : This work investigates the role of prosody in the perception wh-exclamatives and (information seeking) wh-interrogatives in Cosenza Italian. We used reaction times (RTs) as a diagnostic of listeners' (in)security in sentence type disambiguation during a two-forced choice identification task. Our results show that listeners identify the two sentence types after the end of the utterance in most of the trials, and not before it. This suggests that prosodic cues that occur before the end of the utterance (e.g., in the prenuclear section of the intonational contour) are not strong enough by themselves guide the pragmatic interpretation of the utterances. Furthermore, our study shows that exclamatives are processed faster than interrogatives, but this effect disappears when segmental duration is taken into account.
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Submitted on : Monday, April 15, 2019 - 1:35:21 PM
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Olga Kellert, Daniele Panizza, Caterina Petrone. On the role of prosody in disambiguating wh-exclamatives and wh-interrogatives in Cosenza Italian. Ingo Feldhausen; Jan Fliessbach; Maria del Mar Vanrell Ingo Feldhausen, Jan Fliessbach & Maria del Mar Vanrell (ed.). 2018. Methods in prosody: A Romance language perspective (Studies in Laboratory Phonology 4). Berlin: Language Science Press, Language Science Press, In press. ⟨halshs-01793178⟩

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