Sixth European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Budapest, Hungary
September 5-9, 1999

The Prosody of Left-Dislocated Topic Constituents in Italian Read Speech

Barbara Gili Fivela

Scuola Normale Superiore

The prosody of the left periphery of the sentence is investigated by means of acoustic analysis of read speech data. In Italian, syntactic constituents can be left dislocated when they represent the topic or focus part in the sentence. In this paper, the characteristics of topic and focus constituents are then compared, in particular when different types of prosodic focalization affect them. Results of the analysis of the corpus data are presented. On the basis of this analysis, left dislocated constituents appear always to be prosodically separated from the following material. In case of multiple left dislocation, differences in the prosodic realization are found, and they relate to the marked or unmarked order of the left dislocated constituents.

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Bibliographic reference.  Fivela, Barbara Gili (1999): "The prosody of left-dislocated topic constituents in italian read speech", In EUROSPEECH'99, 531-534.