Intonation: Theory, Models, and Applications

Athens, Greece
September 18-20, 1997

        

The Role of Prosody in Disambiguating Potentially Ambiguous Utterances in English and Italian

Julia Hirschberg, Cinzia Avesani

AT&T Labs-Research, Florham Park, NJ, USA

We investigate the role that intonation plays in disambiguating potentially ambiguous utterances in English and Italian, to see a) whether speakers employ intonational means to disambiguate these utterances, and b) whether speakers of the two languages employed consistently different intonational strategies in this disambiguation. We find that, while some semantic phenomena are consistently disambiguated by both sets of speakers, the syntactic phenomena tested are not. We suggest a possible explanation for this disparity.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Hirschberg, Julia / Avesani, Cinzia (1997): "The role of prosody in disambiguating potentially ambiguous utterances in English and Italian", In INT-1997, 189-192.