INTERSPEECH 2004 - ICSLP
Two experiments investigated the interaction of intonation boundaries and verb bias during spoken language comprehension in English. An online cross-modal naming task proved to be sensitive to the interaction of prosodic, syntactic, and semantic representations during resolution of a temporary syntactic closure ambiguity (e.g., Whenever the lady checks the room...) The results supported previous claims that intonation boundaries trigger semantic wrap-up  and provided new evidence that they trigger syntactic wrap-up as well. When an intonation boundary occurred at a transitive-bias verb, wrap-up resulted in a transitive interpretation and an intransitive structure. Resolution of the conflict depended on the prosodic representation associated with the structurally ambiguous noun phrase and its predictability as a direct object. While intonation boundary location can determine the initial syntactic structure for this closure ambiguity regardless of verb bias, disambiguation for transitive-bias verbs seems to depend in part on other prosodic and lexical factors.
Bibliographic reference. Blodgett, Allison (2004): "Functions of intonation boundaries during spoken language comprehension in English", In INTERSPEECH-2004, 2997-3000.