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The Prosodic Resolution of Syntactic/Semantic Ambiguity: An Exemplar-based Account

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Authors
Ahn, Hyunah
Issue Date
2017
Publisher
Language Education Research Center, Seoul National University
Citation
Language Research, Vol.53 No.3, pp. 501-524
Keywords
Thematic rolesprosodic disambiguationexemplar-based language processingdouble nominative constructionpsychological predicates
Abstract
This study tests the hypothesis that the ambiguity of a null argument construction in Korean like Lwummeituka mwusewun ka poayo (The roommate must be scared/scary) can be prosodically resolved. The null argument construction is tested with two-place psychological predicates such as mwusewun (scared/scary) and kwichanun (bothered/bothersome).
A naturalness rating experiment shows the following: (1) when the NP Lwummeituka is the experiencer of the psychological predicate scare and the sentence means The roommate must be scared, both an Accentual Phrase (AP) boundary and an Intonational Phrase (IP) boundary are equally accepted between the NP and the VP; (2) when the NP is the stimulus (The roommate must be scary), only an AP boundary is perceived natural. Reaction time and comprehension question accuracy data further display the role played by prosody in ambiguity resolution.
The results are discussed within the exemplar framework.
ISSN
0254-4474
Language
English
URI
https://hdl.handle.net/10371/138516
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Language Education Institute (언어교육원)Language Research (어학연구)Language Research (어학연구) Volume 53 Number 1/3 (2017)
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