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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton June 11, 2013

A new approach to prosodic grouping

  • Gerrit Kentner and Caroline Féry EMAIL logo
From the journal The Linguistic Review


This paper reports on two experiments concerning the prosodic realization and perception of various sentences with three or four coordinated names in German. The expression of prosodic boundaries, as evidenced by pitch and duration, is shown to signal the depth of syntactic embedding of the conjuncts and also the branching direction of the co-ordination structure. The results of the production experiment inspire a model of syntax-prosody mapping, which assumes that the strength of a prosodic boundary after a given constituent is a function of a) the syntactic relation to the following constituent and b) the depth of its syntactic embedding. Comparison reveals that the proposed model provides better predictions than other current approaches to prosodic boundary strength. The perception experiment indicates that listeners recognize recursively embedded coordination structures on the basis of the prosodic form of the sentence. We argue for a recursive representation of prosodic constituent structure at the level of the phonological phrase and above.

Published Online: 2013-06-11
Published in Print: 2013-06-13

©[2013] by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston

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