Prosody and Parsing: A Special Issue of Language and Cognitive Proceses

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The papers in this special issue reflect an increase in research interest in the use of intonation and prosody in the processing of spoken sentences. As more is learned about sentence processing and as increased attention is paid to the processing of the spoken language, so researchers have begun to ask questions about the organizational principles of the spoken form. This book covers a range of such questions, of interest both to linguists and to psycholinguists. It considers aspects of the linguistics characterization of prosody, such as whether prosodic structures are themselves often ambiguous and in need of parsing. It also includes studies of the use of prosody in the structural interpretation of sentences, involving the relationship between intonational focus and sentence structure, the role of prosody in structural disambiguation, and the predictive use of prosody in determining the length of the current utterance. Papers in the collection also consider the role of prosody in the early acquisition of grammar, the lateralization of prosody in the brain, and the extent to which prosody can be claimed to guide rather than support syntactic structural analysis.

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Table of Contents

The parsing prosody, M.E. Beckman; prosody and the roots of parsing, J.L. Morgan; using prosody to predict the end of sentences in English and French - normal and brain-damaged subjects, F. Grosjean, C. Hirt; focus in relative clause construal, A. Schafer et al; prosodic breaks and attachment decisions in sentence parsing, J. Pynte, B. Prieur; does prosody direct sentence processing?

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