ISCA Archive SpeechProsody 2022
ISCA Archive SpeechProsody 2022

A Trade-off Relationship between Lexical and Prosodic Means in Expressing Subjective and Objective Causality

Na Hu, Aoju Chen, Fang Li, Hugo Quené, Ted Sanders

Prosody carries a variety of information in spoken communication. However, how it is involved in expressing the structure of discourse remains less well understood. This study addressed this issue by investigating the use of prosody in expressing two types of causality: subjective and objective causality. Specifically, we explored the trade-off between prosody and lexical means, i.e., specialized causal connectives. Several theories suggested that when these two types of causality were expressed by specialized causal connectives, as is the case in Mandarin, it would be unnecessary to use prosody to distinguish them because the specialized causal connectives already specified the type of causality. On the other hand, when the two types of causality were expressed by a general causal connective as in English, it would be necessary to use prosody because their distinctions are not explicit at the lexical level. To test these hypotheses, we conducted two production experiments, with Experiment 1 investigating the prosodic realizations of subjective and objective causality in Mandarin and Experiment 2 in English. We used a self-designed dialogue task to elicit speech samples and a Bayesian approach to evaluate the effects of subjectivity on measurements. The results of these two experiments support the hypotheses.


doi: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2022-5

Cite as: Hu, N., Chen, A., Li, F., Quené, H., Sanders, T. (2022) A Trade-off Relationship between Lexical and Prosodic Means in Expressing Subjective and Objective Causality. Proc. Speech Prosody 2022, 22-26, doi: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2022-5

@inproceedings{hu22_speechprosody,
  author={Na Hu and Aoju Chen and Fang Li and Hugo Quené and Ted Sanders},
  title={{A Trade-off Relationship between Lexical and Prosodic Means in Expressing Subjective and Objective Causality}},
  year=2022,
  booktitle={Proc. Speech Prosody 2022},
  pages={22--26},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2022-5}
}