Speech Prosody 2004

Nara, Japan
March 23-26, 2004

The Role of Prosody in Parsing Ambiguous Sentences

Nivedita Mani

Phonetics Laboratory, University of Oxford, UK

This paper tests whether listeners are able to use the prosodic characteristics of speech to differentiate between alternative interpretations of syntactically ambiguous stimuli. Most existing research has either employed off-line tasks or provided adequate syntactic information for the listener to recognise ambiguity but inadequate prosodic information to resolve it. In incorporating controls for these limitations, my experiment was able to show that prosodic cues are able to guide initial processing of input irrespective of any putative syntactic parsing preferences.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Mani, Nivedita (2004): "The role of prosody in parsing ambiguous sentences", In SP-2004, 301-304.