Separating similar effects of conjunction and intonation in the resolution of lexical ambiguity

Scott Jackson, David Townsend, Thomas Bever

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Recent work has shown that prosodic information has a number of important effects on human sentence processing, including effects on the semantic integration of clauses (Schafer 1997). In an effort to learn more about the nature of these prosodic effects, we ran an experiment that manipulated not only prosody, but also the type of initial subordinating conjunction, which we predicted might have a similar effect on processing. Our results confirmed previous work on the effects of conjunction type (Townsend & Bever 1978; Townsend 1983), and they replicated the basic pattern of the prosodic effect from Schafer (1997). However, a more in-depth analysis suggests (i) that prosody and conjunction type are playing different, interacting roles in this "makes sense" decision task, and (ii) that the prosodice effect may be more directly dependent on the gradient phonetic feature of phrase-final lengthening, rather than on an abstract phonological prosodic category.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-278
Number of pages20
JournalStudia Linguistica
Volume59
Issue number2-3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2005

Fingerprint

Lexical Ambiguity
Intonation
phonetics
semantics
experiment
Prosody
Phonetic Features
Clause
Sentence Processing
Subordinating Conjunction
Experiment
Final Lengthening

Cite this

Jackson, Scott ; Townsend, David ; Bever, Thomas. / Separating similar effects of conjunction and intonation in the resolution of lexical ambiguity. In: Studia Linguistica. 2005 ; Vol. 59, No. 2-3. pp. 259-278.
@article{0fec10e2fb1b4d4687971ee1614a98a3,
title = "Separating similar effects of conjunction and intonation in the resolution of lexical ambiguity",
abstract = "Recent work has shown that prosodic information has a number of important effects on human sentence processing, including effects on the semantic integration of clauses (Schafer 1997). In an effort to learn more about the nature of these prosodic effects, we ran an experiment that manipulated not only prosody, but also the type of initial subordinating conjunction, which we predicted might have a similar effect on processing. Our results confirmed previous work on the effects of conjunction type (Townsend & Bever 1978; Townsend 1983), and they replicated the basic pattern of the prosodic effect from Schafer (1997). However, a more in-depth analysis suggests (i) that prosody and conjunction type are playing different, interacting roles in this {"}makes sense{"} decision task, and (ii) that the prosodice effect may be more directly dependent on the gradient phonetic feature of phrase-final lengthening, rather than on an abstract phonological prosodic category.",
author = "Scott Jackson and David Townsend and Thomas Bever",
year = "2005",
month = "8",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/j.1467-9582.2005.00129.x",
language = "English",
volume = "59",
pages = "259--278",
journal = "Studia Linguistica",
issn = "0039-3193",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "2-3",

}

Separating similar effects of conjunction and intonation in the resolution of lexical ambiguity. / Jackson, Scott; Townsend, David; Bever, Thomas.

In: Studia Linguistica, Vol. 59, No. 2-3, 01.08.2005, p. 259-278.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Separating similar effects of conjunction and intonation in the resolution of lexical ambiguity

AU - Jackson, Scott

AU - Townsend, David

AU - Bever, Thomas

PY - 2005/8/1

Y1 - 2005/8/1

N2 - Recent work has shown that prosodic information has a number of important effects on human sentence processing, including effects on the semantic integration of clauses (Schafer 1997). In an effort to learn more about the nature of these prosodic effects, we ran an experiment that manipulated not only prosody, but also the type of initial subordinating conjunction, which we predicted might have a similar effect on processing. Our results confirmed previous work on the effects of conjunction type (Townsend & Bever 1978; Townsend 1983), and they replicated the basic pattern of the prosodic effect from Schafer (1997). However, a more in-depth analysis suggests (i) that prosody and conjunction type are playing different, interacting roles in this "makes sense" decision task, and (ii) that the prosodice effect may be more directly dependent on the gradient phonetic feature of phrase-final lengthening, rather than on an abstract phonological prosodic category.

AB - Recent work has shown that prosodic information has a number of important effects on human sentence processing, including effects on the semantic integration of clauses (Schafer 1997). In an effort to learn more about the nature of these prosodic effects, we ran an experiment that manipulated not only prosody, but also the type of initial subordinating conjunction, which we predicted might have a similar effect on processing. Our results confirmed previous work on the effects of conjunction type (Townsend & Bever 1978; Townsend 1983), and they replicated the basic pattern of the prosodic effect from Schafer (1997). However, a more in-depth analysis suggests (i) that prosody and conjunction type are playing different, interacting roles in this "makes sense" decision task, and (ii) that the prosodice effect may be more directly dependent on the gradient phonetic feature of phrase-final lengthening, rather than on an abstract phonological prosodic category.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=33745297135&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/j.1467-9582.2005.00129.x

DO - 10.1111/j.1467-9582.2005.00129.x

M3 - Article

VL - 59

SP - 259

EP - 278

JO - Studia Linguistica

JF - Studia Linguistica

SN - 0039-3193

IS - 2-3

ER -