5th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Rhodes, Greece
September 22-25, 1997

Prosody-Particle Pairs as Discourse Control Signs

Dafydd Gibbon, Claudia Sassen

Fakultät für Linguistik und Literaturwissenschaft, Universität Bielefeld, Germany

We address the problem of integrating the description of discourse particles and their intonation into an HPSG--based lexicon for spontaneous speech applications, and propose a lexical sign type called prosody-- particle pair which has similar structure to grammatical inflexions and is formally described as a nested attribute-value structure. In our discussion we generalise a known class of `stylised intonations' to include the level intonation of hesitation particles. Previous descriptions of discourse particles, their roles and their relations to intonation, have been informal. Our proposal is the first to model particle-- intonation relations explicitly and in detail as an inflexion--like complex sign in a formal lexicon. The inclusion of the intonation of hesitation phenomena in the class of stylised intonations on formal and functional grounds is also new.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Gibbon, Dafydd / Sassen, Claudia (1997): "Prosody-particle pairs as discourse control signs", In EUROSPEECH-1997, 223-226.