Acoustic Correlates of Phrasing Patterns
in English and Spanish Sentences
Containing the RC Attachment
Construction
CUNY
GC • QC
Eva Fernández & Dianne Bradley
Queens College & Graduate Center
CUNY
in collaboration with
José Manuel Igoa & Celia Teira
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
May 1, 2004
5th SUNY/CUNY/NYU Mini
Stony Brook, NY
The Implicit Prosody Hypothesis (IPH)
“In silent reading, a default prosodic contour
is projected onto the stimulus, and it may
influence syntactic ambiguity resolution”
(Fodor 1998, 2002)
the brother of the bridegroom who snores
the brother of the bridegroom
][ who snores
The RC Attachment Ambiguity
 Preferred site for attachment varies by…
• language: Spanish higher than English
• length of RC: long higher than short
N1
N2
RC
The guest impressed the brother of the bridegroom who snores.
Who snores?
the brother
the bridegroom
… who often unknowingly snores.
N1
N2
RC
El invitado impresionó al hermano del novio que roncaba.
¿Quién roncaba?
el hermano
el novio
… que a menudo inconscientemente roncaba.
Selkirk, 1986
Prosody and Syntax Align
the brother of the bridegroom
][ who often unknowingly snores
the brother of the bridegroom who snores
prosodic discontinuity
el hermano del novio
][ que a menudo inconscientemente roncaba
el hermano del novio
][ que roncaba
NP
NP
syntactic discontinuity
N1
N1
PP
P
NP
N2
RC
PP
P
NP
N2
RC
Empirical Support for the IPH
 Behavioral evidence on how RCs
are interpreted during silent reading
• existing dataset: Hemforth et al. (submitted)
 Evidence on how the N-of-N-RC construction
is produced in discourse-neutral speech
• elicited production experiment
Do the patterns in the two datasets match up?
Behavioral Evidence
Hemforth et al. (submitted)
 Materials in English and Spanish:
• with short and long RCs
• N1-N2-RC placed post- and pre-verbally
The guest impressed X.
X impressed the guest.
El invitado impresionó a X.
X impresionó al invitado.
X = the brother of the bridegroom
who (often unknowingly) snores
el hermano del novio
que (a menudo inconscientemente) roncaba
Behavioral Evidence
 Pre-Verbal Subjects:
• RC length effect
reduced
• Cross-linguistic
difference reduced
Who snores?
The brother (N1)
English
Spanish
60
% High Attachment
 Post-Verbal Objects:
• Cross-linguistic
difference
• RC length effect
Hemforth et al. (submitted)
50
40
30
20
Short RC Long RC Short RC Long RC
Post-Verbal
Objects
Pre-Verbal
Subjects
ENGLISH
SPANISH
N2][RC
N2][RC
RC.]
The guest impressed the brother of the bridegroom
who often unknowingly snores.
El invitado impresionó al hermano del novio
que a menudo inconscientemente roncaba.
N2][RC
N2][RC
RC.]
RC][V
RC][V
The brother of the bridegroom who often unknowingly snores
impressed the guest.
El hermano del novio que a menudo inconscientemente roncaba
impresionó al invitado.
Experiment: Elicited Production
 Participants, N = 8 per language
• English  New York
• Spanish  Madrid
 Materials, N = 8  4 per language
(selected from Hemforth et al.’s 32  4)
• Post- and pre-verbal of identical length
• RC’s right boundary with same lexical content,
whether short or long
The guest impressed X.
X=
X impressed the guest.
the brother of the bridegroom
who (often unknowingly) snores

The guest impressed the brother of the bridegroom.
Which bridegroom? The bridegroom who snores.
The guest impressed the brother of the bridegroom who snores.

El invitado impresionó al hermano del novio.
¿Qué novio? El novio que roncaba.
El invitado impresionó al hermano del novio que roncaba.

Analyses: N2 & RC’s Verb
 Duration: Presence of Boundary
 Pitch movement: Type of Boundary
The guest
impressed
the brother of the bridegroom ][ who … snores.]
N2][RC
RC.]
The brother of the bridegroom ][ who … snores ][ impressed
N2][RC
RC][V
.
the
guest.
Long RC
N2 Durations
Short RC
100 ms
 Placement × Length Interaction
F1(1,14) = 5.77, p < .05, F2(1,14) = 12.37, p < .005
• RC-Length  = 123 ms Post-Verbal
• RC-Length  = 68 ms Pre-Verbal
ENGLISH
SPANISH
Post-Verbal
Objects
Pre-Verbal
Subjects
550
650
750
850 550
650
750
850
Long RC
Pre
Short RC
Long RC
Post
Short RC
N2: Pitch
 Placement × Language Interaction
F1(1,14) = 16.56, p < .002, F2(1,14) = 14.43, p < .002
• Placement  = 0.4 Hz/200 ms English
• Placement  = 23.6 Hz/200 ms Spanish
Mean F0 (Hz)
200
ENGLISH
200
175
175
150
150
125
125
100
200 ms
100
SPANISH
200 ms
Long RC
Pre
Short RC
Long RC
Post
Short RC
RC Verb: Pitch
 Interaction: Placement × Language
F1(1,14) = 6.05, < .05, F2(1,14) = 14.72, < .002
• Placement  = 8.7 Hz/200 ms English
• Placement  = 38.6 Hz/200 ms Spanish
200
ENGLISH
200
SPANISH
175
175
150
150
125
125
100
200 ms
100
200 ms
Duration & Pitch: The Big Picture
ENGLISH
Post-Verbal
Objects
Pre-Verbal
Subjects
N2][RC
N2][RC
RC.]
RC][V
SPANISH
N2][RC
N2][RC
RC.]
RC][V
Summary of Data Outcomes
 Pitch Movements: Type of Boundary
and Cross-Linguistic Differences
• Spanish: N2 falls pre-verbally, rises post-verbally
• English: N2 uniformly falls, pre- and post-verbally
 Duration: Presence of Boundary
and Cross-Linguistic Similarities
• In both languages: Likelihood of breaks
before RC is modulated by position
Conclusions and Speculations
 Behavioral similarities and differences are
indexed in the prosodic patterns of
Spanish and English
 But what is the source for the contrasting
sentence-medial tunes in Spanish?
• Are such patterns projected entirely
within the syntax-prosody interface?
• Or are such patterns the result of an interplay
of syntax, prosody, and information structure?
Thanks!
¡Gracias!

[email protected]
[email protected]
Descargar

Slide 1