Speech Prosody 2010

Chicago, IL, USA
May 10-14, 2010

On the Prosodic Marking of Contrast in Romance Sentence Topic: Evidence from Neapolitan Italian

Lisa Brunetti (1), Mariapaola D'Imperio (2), Francesco Cangemi (3)

(1) Laboratoire Dynamique du Langage, Université Lumière Lyon 2, Lyon, France
(2) Laboratoire Parole et Langage, Université de Provence I, Aix-en-Provence, France
(3) Laboratoire Parole et Langage, Aix-en-Provence, France

In this paper we present data in Neapolitan Italian that show a clear phonological difference in intonation between a clitic left dislocated object topic in an exhaustive answer and in a partial answer. In the latter, the topic expression is set aside in its own prosodic phrase, made of a rising accent (H*) followed by a !H- boundary tone. An exhaustive answer does not show such phrasing pattern. The finding of a ‘partial' tune in Romance provides a solution to the pragmatic problem of defining sentence topic by supporting a bi-dimensional model of Information Structure.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Brunetti, Lisa / D'Imperio, Mariapaola / Cangemi, Francesco (2010): "On the prosodic marking of contrast in Romance sentence topic: evidence from Neapolitan Italian", In SP-2010, paper 202.