Fourth European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Madrid, Spain
September 18-21, 1995

Listeners' Use of the 'Information-Accentuation' Interdependence in Processing Implicit and Explicit References

Wilma van Donselaar

Max-Planck-Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

As 'new' words are usually accented and 'given' words unaccented, listeners may use de-accentuation as a cue referring to earlier given information. An auditory verification experiment was carried out to investigate whether listeners benefit from de-accentation in solving anaphoric references during sentence processing. Both implicit, synonymous and explicit, identical referring expressions were investigated. The results of the experiment showed that unaccented synonyms were verified significantly faster than accented synonyms. However, latencies showed no difference between the verification of accented and unaccented identical words. This suggests that de-accentuation of referring expressions may be more important to listeners in solving more implicit anaphoric references than in solving explicit ones.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Donselaar, Wilma van (1995): "Listeners' use of the 'information-accentuation' interdependence in processing implicit and explicit references", In EUROSPEECH-1995, 979-982.