4th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Philadelphia, PA, USA
October 3-6, 1996

Prosodic Cues in Syntactically Ambiguous Strings; An Interactive Speech Planning Mechanism

K. A. Straub

University of Rochester

This paper presents data suggesting that the clarity with which the speech signal is produced may be mediated by the presence of extra-syntactic factors such as the presence of strongly biasing context. An elicited speech experiment examining prepositional phrase attachment ambiguities produced within either strongly biasing or non-biasing contexts reveals that although the expected acoustic correlates of syntactic structure are consistently observed, the salience of these cues is diminished when alternate sources of disambiguating information are present for the listener. A second experiment shows that the cues are predictive with respect to listeners' interpretation of the ambiguous segments.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Straub, K. A. (1996): "Prosodic cues in syntactically ambiguous strings; an interactive speech planning mechanism", In ICSLP-1996, 1640-1643.