15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Intonation and Sentence Processing

Shari Speer (1), Paul Warren (2), Amy Schafer (3)

(1) Ohio State University, USA
(2) Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
(3) University of Hawai'i at Manoa, USA

This paper summarises recent research concerning the relationship between intonation and the syntactic analysis of sentences. After introductory comments on the nature of intonation, we discuss methodological problems in determining the relationship between syntactic and intonational structure, and the potential dangers of basing claims about this relationship on scripted readings rather than on spontaneous speech. We present some of our own speech production data from the SPOT project, and highlight the variability in the intonational realisation of that data. After discussing the broad question of whether correspondences between syntactic and intonation structure are speaker- or listener-oriented, we review experimental data on the role of intonation in sentence comprehension, and finally discuss the position of intonation in the sentence processing mechanism.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Speer, Shari / Warren, Paul / Schafer, Amy (2003): "Intonation and sentence processing", In ICPhS-15, 95-106.