Speech Prosody 2012

Shanghai, China
May 22-25, 2012

Pitch Accent, Eyebrows And Context – Effects on the Exhaustivity of Answers?

Charlotte Wollermann (1,2), Bernhard Schröder (2), Ulrich Schade (1,3)

(1) Speech and Communication, University of Bonn, Germany
(2) German Linguistics, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
(3) Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics FKIE, Germany

We describe an interpretation study on the effect of accentuation, eyebrow movement and context on the exhaustive interpretation of answers. Our material consists of video recordings of nine German speakers who read dialogues with embedded question-answer pairs in which the answer constituted the pragmatic focus of the utterance. For the dialogues we varied the context regarding (un)certainty and (non-)exhaustivity of the answer. The material was presented to 45 subjects, the focus interpretation was tested by presenting pictures showing the (non-)exhaustive reading. In the current analysis we concentrate on a coordination of two noun phrases functioning as focus constituents. When using the pictures showing the nonexhaustive reading, our data show that the influence of the audiovisual prosody is less evident than the contextual influence.

Index Terms: audiovisual prosody, exhaustivity, focus

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Wollermann, Charlotte / Schröder, Bernhard / Schade, Ulrich (2012): "Pitch accent, eyebrows and context – effects on the exhaustivity of answers?", In SP-2012, 79-82.