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On the syntax/pragmatics interface: Expressing surprise and disapproval

Alessandra Giorgi and Chiara Dal Farra
From the journal Intercultural Pragmatics


In this work we consider Italian special questions expressing surprise and question-exclamatives expressing surprise-disapproval. Both sentence types are introduced by the adversative particle ma. In order to better understand the role of prosody and gesture in these structures with respect to syntax, we run some experiments of sentence production and sentence elicitation. The results point to an integrated model of the three components: syntax prosody and gestures. We will show in fact that the appropriate prosody and gesture are triggered by a dedicated projection in the syntactic structure, which is read off at the interface with the sensorimotor component.


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Published Online: 2019-05-29
Published in Print: 2019-05-27

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