11th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Makuhari, Chiba, Japan
September 26-30. 2010

Prosodic Grouping and Relative Clause Disambiguation in Mandarin

Jianjing Kuang

University of California at Los Angeles, USA

The study discusses the role of prosodic grouping in the Mandarin Relative Clause attachment disambiguation. The grouping effect is explored under the Implicit Prosody Hypothesis (IPH) from four aspects of sentence processing experiments: default production, contrast production, online processing, as well as offline processing. It is found that (1) the length of RC greatly impacts ambiguity resolutions offline; (2) Prosodic grouping can well reflect the different attachment readings and is consciously used to produce contrastive meanings (3) Online processing can be affected by manipulating the grouping cues: Prominence and pause. The findings support the IPH, and contribute to our understanding about prosodic grouping in Mandarin, which can be applied in spoken language processing.

Index Terms: prosodic grouping, disambiguation, Mandarin

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Kuang, Jianjing (2010): "Prosodic grouping and relative clause disambiguation in Mandarin", In INTERSPEECH-2010, 1748-1751.