Speech Prosody 2010

Chicago, IL, USA
May 10-14, 2010

The Prosody of Embedded Coordinations in German and Hindi

Caroline Féry, Gerrit Kentner

Institut für Kognitive Linguistik, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, Germany

This paper reports a cross-linguistic investigation into the syntax-prosody mapping in German and Hindi. For both languages, comparable speech production experiments were carried out, using ambiguous coordination structures with four names in different syntactic conditions. Pitch contours and duration values were compared at syntactic boundaries of the different coordination structures within and across the two languages. The results show that, in German, the prosodic parameters transparently indicate the syntactic constituent structure while in Hindi, no reliable effect of syntactic structure on prosodic realization could be found. We propose two principles to account for the German results and, at the same time, question the universality of syntax-prosody mapping constraints. The cross-linguistic differences are discussed against the background of the respective intonation systems of the two languages.

Index Terms: syntax-prosody interface, coordinations, speech production, German, Hindi

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Féry, Caroline / Kentner, Gerrit (2010): "The prosody of embedded coordinations in German and Hindi", In SP-2010, paper 014.