Syntax and Prosody Interface of Wh-Scope in Mandarin

So Young Lee, Lei Liu, Hongchen Wu, Jiwon Yun


This study mainly investigates prosodic strategies to disambiguate the ambiguous wh-scope in Mandarin. We also examine the usage of prosodic information in production and perception as well as the relationship between prosody and syntax regarding to wh-scope by conducting a series of four experiments. The results of these experiments show that Mandarin speakers put focused intonation on different lexical items among wh-phrases, embedded verbs and matrix verbs according to the wh-scope. The mismatch between speakers’ encoding and hearers’ decoding of prosodic information were also found in these experiments. The prosodic information does not play a crucial role in disambiguating wh-scope in perception. In addition, we found that Mandarin speakers use different prosodic strategies depending on the amount of given syntactic information on wh-scope. This suggests that syntax affects prosody on wh-scope.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-184

Cite as: Lee, S.Y., Liu, L., Wu, H., Yun, J. (2018) Syntax and Prosody Interface of Wh-Scope in Mandarin. Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018, 913-916, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-184.


@inproceedings{Lee2018,
  author={So Young Lee and Lei Liu and Hongchen Wu and Jiwon Yun},
  title={Syntax and Prosody Interface of Wh-Scope in Mandarin},
  year=2018,
  booktitle={Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018},
  pages={913--916},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-184},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-184}
}