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11/14/03 Prosody&Pragmatics, Preston, 14-16 nov 2003 1 How to assert while questioning : the pragmatic use of rising-falling contours in French debates.

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Presentation on theme: "11/14/03 Prosody&Pragmatics, Preston, 14-16 nov 2003 1 How to assert while questioning : the pragmatic use of rising-falling contours in French debates."— Presentation transcript:

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2 11/14/03 Prosody&Pragmatics, Preston, 14-16 nov 2003 1 How to assert while questioning : the pragmatic use of rising-falling contours in French debates Cristel Portes Laboratoire Parole et Langage Aix-en-Provence

3 11/14/03 Prosody&Pragmatics, Preston, 14-16 nov 2003 2 The issue of this talk Intonational meaning (cf. the session title!) The use French speakers make of a rising- falling contour in a radiophonic debate situation The exhaustive analysis is presented in our PhD dissertation (in progress)

4 11/14/03 Prosody&Pragmatics, Preston, 14-16 nov 2003 3 Progress of the talk 1. Scientific Background 2. A french rising-falling tune : Delattres intonation dimplication 3. Geneva School Discourse model 4. Results of the discursive analysis 5. Some conclusions and consequences

5 11/14/03 Prosody&Pragmatics, Preston, 14-16 nov 2003 4 Intonation analysis position A minimal pragmatic specification of prosodic objects and facts –See the inventory of different authors characterisation of tune meanings in section 4 of Pierrehumbert & Hirschberg (1990) The meaning of intonational contours in the interpretation of discourse. In Cohen, P.R., Morgan, J. & Pollack, M.E. (eds). Intentions in Communications. Cambridge, MA : MIT Press, pp. 270-311. –Expressing modality : Assertive Interrogative Exclamative –Connotations : Obviousness Insistence Irony 1. Scientific Background

6 11/14/03 Prosody&Pragmatics, Preston, 14-16 nov 2003 5 For discourse analysis and pragmatics Prosody has essentially a structural function –Notion of paratone in Brown G. & Yule G. (1983) Discourse analysis. Cambridge : CUP. –Notion of période in Berrendonner A. (1993) Périodes. In Parret, H. (ed.). Temps et discours. Louvain : PUL, 47-61. –Notion of organisation périodique in Roulet E. et al. (2001) Un modèle et un instrument danalyse de lorganisation du discours. Bern : Peter Lang. Conversation Analysis = no great interest for tunes –Couper-Kuhlen E. & Selting M. (1996) Prosody in Conversation. Cambridge : CUP. –Local J. (2003) Phonetics and talk in interaction. 15th ICPhS Barcelona, 115/118. 1. Scientific Background

7 11/14/03 Prosody&Pragmatics, Preston, 14-16 nov 2003 6 Our purpose is to show that : A precise description of the use speakers make of a tune in an attested corpus of conversation is needed to know more about that tunes real possible function. An independent discourse model must be used to proceed to such a description. Intonational tunes are as possible and interesting objects for pragmatics studies as, for instance, connectors.

8 11/14/03 Prosody&Pragmatics, Preston, 14-16 nov 2003 7 P. Delattres intonation dimplication (PI) The configuration is defined by the direction of the F0 curve and by the range levels where it takes place. Delattre, P. (1966). Les dix intonations de base du français. The French Review, 40 (1), 1-14. B. Posts autosegmental account: Post, B. (2000) Tonal and Phrasal Structures in French Intonation. The Hague: Holland Academic Graphics = %LH*LH*L% 2. A french rising-falling tune

9 11/14/03 Prosody&Pragmatics, Preston, 14-16 nov 2003 8 An attested example of PI 2. A french rising-falling tune

10 11/14/03 Prosody&Pragmatics, Preston, 14-16 nov 2003 9 Data A 45 minutes long corpus consisting of a radiophonic debate between 6 speakers 114 items of PI identified auditorily by 2 phoneticians –pi = identified by both (55%) –Api = identified by expert A (32%) –Cpi = identified by expert C (13%) non consensual items: –Rising continuative countours (CT) = 76% –Falling conclusive contours (T) = 12% –Other contours = 12% A notable auditory ambiguity between PI and CT 2. A french rising-falling tune

11 11/14/03 Prosody&Pragmatics, Preston, 14-16 nov 2003 10 A modular model We use it as it is exposed in Roulet et al. (2001) Un modèle et un instrument danalyse de lorganisation du discours, Bern: Peter Lang A very synthetic, multi-dimensional model Conceived from the analysis of attested corpora and for this kind of analysis Analytical dissociation between the text structure and the praxeological structure, the association of which builds the discourse structure Many usefull descriptive tools 3. Geneva School discourse model

12 11/14/03 Prosody&Pragmatics, Preston, 14-16 nov 2003 11 As [32] mais prenons le problème dans cet ordre-là PI Ap [33] et je n(e)comprends pas pourquoi CT As [34] ayant cette inquiétude telle qu'il l'exprime CT [33bis] euh Monsieur Lamassour a accepté dans d'autres situations l'élargiss(e)ment PI Ap [35] déjà le problème était posé PI As [36] déjà y avait avant le sommet d(e) Lisbonne CT un débat sur le fait que élargiss(e)ment et approfondiss(e)ment d(e) la construction européenne CT étaient contradictoires PI Ap [37] néanmoins c'est la logique de l'élargiss(e)ment qui l'a emporté CT As [38] et encore une fois ça n'inquiète pas ceux qui sont euh euh partisans euh fondamentalement d'une zone de libre échange et qui se soucient assez peu euh du projet politique T Ip Is arg Is com pré com ref 3. Geneva School discourse model The hierarchical structure and the interactional relations

13 11/14/03 Prosody&Pragmatics, Preston, 14-16 nov 2003 12 The notion of « cadre actionnel » (actional framework) 3. Geneva School discourse model

14 11/14/03 Prosody&Pragmatics, Preston, 14-16 nov 2003 13 Distribution relative to hierarchical constituents 4. Results of the discursive analysis Analysis of the hierarchical structure contour type middel of a textual act end of a textual act end of a paragraph end of a turn pi7%71%17%5% ct23%76%1%0% t 54%33%13% The hierarchical distribution of PI is intermediate between CT and T Results compatible with Mertens (1990)

15 11/14/03 Prosody&Pragmatics, Preston, 14-16 nov 2003 14 Distribution of the interactive generic relations 4. Results of the discursive analysis Analysis of the relational organisation PI has the greatest number of relations responsible for argumentative effects : arg, c-a, clar, ref (cf. the models notion of « organisation compositionnelle » = compositional organisation) contour type "relations interactives génériques« (interactive generic relations) comargc-aclarprésucreftop pi18%28%11%7%26%0%9%2% ct 22 % 26%5%2%17%5%9%15% t 30 % 3%2%20%2%6%8%

16 11/14/03 Prosody&Pragmatics, Preston, 14-16 nov 2003 15 Interactional framework –Journalists : PI = a confirmation demand (question) –Invited speakers : PI = an emphatic assertion PI as interpretation guide –Conclusions –Commentaries PI in polemic episods The opposing speakers is mentioned Represented Q/RE structure Contrastive structures « ce nest pas…/cest… » (it is not this/it is that) False concessions 4. Results of the discursive analysis Other results

17 11/14/03 Prosody&Pragmatics, Preston, 14-16 nov 2003 16 An interactive and argumentative tune Interactive –PI often marks metadiscourse (commentaries, conclusions) : it marks the formulations that the hearer has to pay attention to. –PI when the interlocutor is named. –PI when a dialogue is represented. (related to the emphatic phonetic dimension of the tune : see Gussenhovens effort code) Argumentative –Associated with argumentative relations. –Occuring with rhetorical processes. 5. Some conclusions and consequences It can be used as an additional mark of the argumentative effect in Geneva School discourse model

18 11/14/03 Prosody&Pragmatics, Preston, 14-16 nov 2003 17 A compositional tune ? The pragmatic use of PI consists in, simultaneously: –Strongly assert about the content of the utterance –Asking for the audiences approval and the interlocutors confirmation (an intonational « isnt it? ») This gives arguments in favor of a compositionnal theory of intonational meaning –Inspired by the one proposed by Pierrehumbert & Hirschberg (1990) –A rising interrogative tone (metadiscursive level) = H* –An falling assertive tone (content level) = L% 5. Some conclusions and consequences

19 11/14/03 Prosody&Pragmatics, Preston, 14-16 nov 2003 18 This presentation will soon be available online at the following address: http://www.lpl.univ-aix.fr/~prodige/ Thank you for your attention


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