ISCA Archive SpeechProsody 2010
ISCA Archive SpeechProsody 2010

Prosodic effects of discourse salience and association with focus

Michael Wagner, M. Breen, E. Flemming, Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel, E. Gibson

Three factors that have been argued to influence the prosody of an utterance are (i) which constituents encode discourse-salient information; (ii) which constituents are contrastive and evoke alternatives; and (iii) which constituents interact with the meaning of focus operators such as only (i.e., they ‘associate' with focus). One challenge for a better understanding of the prosodic effects of these factors has been the difficulty of finding a way to evaluate hypotheses quantitatively, since individual variation in productions is often large enough to wash out experimental effects. In this paper, we apply a methodology introduced in [1] which regresses out subject and item variation, uncovering otherwise hidden prosodic patterns, and show how the three factors interact in sentences containing single or multiple foci.

Index Terms: prosody, focus association, givenness, prominence, production

Cite as: Wagner, M., Breen, M., Flemming, E., Shattuck-Hufnagel, S., Gibson, E. (2010) Prosodic effects of discourse salience and association with focus. Proc. Speech Prosody 2010, paper 239

  author={Michael Wagner and M. Breen and E. Flemming and Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel and E. Gibson},
  title={{Prosodic effects of discourse salience and association with focus}},
  booktitle={Proc. Speech Prosody 2010},
  pages={paper 239}