ISCA Tutorial and Research Workshop on Experimental Linguistics (ExLing 2008)

Athens, Greece
August 25-27, 2008

Prosodic Phrasing in German Sentence Production: Optimal Length vs. Argument Structure

Petra Augurzky

Institute for Natural Language Processing, University of Stuttgart, Germany

In the last few decades, language research has been characterized by an increasing interest in the role of prosody in sentence processing. Besides signalling disambiguation, prosodic phrasing has been shown to be sensitive to balancing demands. The present experiment examined the interaction of both domains in the production of DP1-DP2-V constructions in German. Acoustic analyses indicate that the need to signal argument structure is mediated by prosodic balance: A general tendency of grouping arguments together with their respective heads was observed, which was increased in saliency when prosodic balance supported such a phrasing.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Augurzky, Petra (2008): "Prosodic phrasing in German sentence production: optimal length vs. argument structure", In ExLing-2008, 33-36.