On prosodic structure

Daniel Hirst

Our ideas about prosodic representation are heavily influenced by our knowledge of written language. All writing systems represent utterances as a linear sequence of elements drawn from a finite set of characters. In many languages special characters such as spaces or punctuation marks are used as boundary symbols. There is a general consensus today that utterances, although themselves produced and perceived as a linear stream of acoustic/physiological events, are mentally represented as a prosodic structure in which smaller chunks of speech are grouped into larger chunks following a hierarchy of phonological levels, and that this hierarchy is only partially related to the more abstract syntactic structure. In this paper I present and discuss some ideas on the nature of these prosodic chunks and the ways in which prosodic structure differs both from written language and syntactic structure. I suggest in particular that a less linear approach to prosodic structure may lead to significant and sometimes surprising insights into the nature of prosodic representations. [The full text of this talk will be made available at the following address after the oral presentation on June 13] https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Daniel_Hirst/contributions

Cite as: Hirst, D. (2018) On prosodic structure. Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018.

  author={Daniel Hirst},
  title={On prosodic structure},
  booktitle={Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018}