A Production Study of Preverbal Sentential and Manner Adverbs in English

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Lee, Yongeun

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서울대학교 언어교육원
어학연구, Vol.43 No.2, pp. 341-356
English adverbssentential-readingmanner-readingambiguitydisambiguationintonationpausesprosody
In the syntactic literature, potentially ambiguous adverbs in English such as naturally in the following sentence have often been presented (e.g., Jackendoff 1972) as an example where certain prosodic events (e.g., including heavy pausal breaks and certain distinct intonation patterns) are crucial to meaning, here distinguishing between sentential- (a) and manner-reading (b) of the adverbs. Mr. Nathaniel River's grandfather (,) naturally (,) recited the old poems, a. since of course he figured everyone wanted to hear him reciting. b. you could tell from his delivery that he had been a skilled reciter. This claim, however, has often been presented in the previous syntactic works without explicit prosodic/phonetic evidence. In the production experiment reported here, I tested whether English speakers actually produce certain prosodic cues as a means of disambiguating the adverbs in question. The current study focused on examining three prosodic events as potential sources of the disambiguation in question: (i) the presence or absence of silent pauses around the adverbs, (ii) the types of prosodic boundaries after the adverbs, and (iii) the shapes of tonal contour of the adverbs. Implications of the current findings for the syntactic and prosodic representation of the adverbs are discussed.
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Language Education Institute (언어교육원)Language Research (어학연구)Language Research (어학연구) Volume 43 Number 1/2 (2007)
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