Prosodic Marking of Information Status in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Martina Krüger, Francesco Cangemi, Kai Vogeley, Martine Grice


When referring to an object or person, speakers select a referring expression along with an appropriate prosody. This choice is a highly context-dependent, listener-oriented aspect of language that has been reported to be difficult for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and associated mentalizing deficits [1, 2]. In a picture-based story-telling task, weinvestigated the encoding of a referent’s givenness, focusing on prosodic choices. When new referents were introduced (or reintroduced) into the discourse, adults with ASD were similar to typically developed adults in their pitch accent placement, but differed in their choice of accent type. On new referents, the ASD group produced accents which are less prominent and which have a non-committal nature (H*), while the control group made greater use of more prominent accents (L+H*, L*+H). Thus, selecting the appropriate pitch accent type to mark a newly introduced referent is problematic for individuals with ASD.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-37

Cite as: Krüger, M., Cangemi, F., Vogeley, K., Grice, M. (2018) Prosodic Marking of Information Status in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018, 182-186, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-37.


@inproceedings{Krüger2018,
  author={Martina Krüger and Francesco Cangemi and Kai Vogeley and Martine Grice},
  title={Prosodic Marking of Information Status in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders},
  year=2018,
  booktitle={Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018},
  pages={182--186},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-37},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-37}
}