S-Space Language Education Institute (언어교육원) Language Research (어학연구) Language Research (어학연구) Volume 50 Number 1/3 (2014)
Incremental Interpretation of Intonational Phrase Boundaries
- Lee, Eun-Kyung
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 언어교육원
- 어학연구, Vol.50 No.2, pp. 411-430
- This study investigates whether intonational phrase boundaries can be used to anticipate upcoming syntactic structure. Participants’ eye movements in a visual search task were examined as they listened to auditory instructions that included a globally ambiguous sentence (e.g., “Click on the boy and the girl holding flowers”). An intonational phrase boundary after “girl” creates a bias towards an interpretation in which both the boy and the girl are holding flowers. The presence of an intonational phrase boundary in this location was manipulated. The results showed that there were increased anticipatory fixations to a picture that was directly linked to the interpretation signaled by the intonational phrase boundary even before the next lexical input (“holding”) was made available. These data suggest that intonational phrase boundaries by themselves may be sufficient for allowing listeners to predict upcoming syntactic structure.