Presentation on theme: "Background In Swedish, there is a difference between main clauses and subordinate clauses regarding the linear order of sentence adverbs and inflected."— Presentation transcript:
Background In Swedish, there is a difference between main clauses and subordinate clauses regarding the linear order of sentence adverbs and inflected verbs. Sentence adverbs follow the inflected verb in main clauses, as shown in (1), whereas they canonically precede it in subordinate clauses, as in (2). (1) Ö lenrinnerinte the.beerflowsnot (2)Jagundrarom ö leninterinner Iwonderifthe.beernotflows In spoken Swedish, subordinate clauses introduced by the conjunction att ‘ that ’ may have main clause word order, with sentence adverbs following the inflected verb. This is illustrated in (3). Subordinate clauses with main clause word order are called ‘ Embedded Main Clauses ’ (EMC). They have their own Force, and are typically interpreted as assertions. Therefore, they cannot function as complements to verbs that put the truth- value of their complements in question, as vill ‘ want ’ in (4). (3)Jagsaatt ö lenrinnerinte Isaidthatthe.beerflowsnot (4) *Jagvillatt ö lenrinnerinte Iwantthatthe.beerflowsnot In a production study, Roll (2004, 2006) found an intonation rise at the left boundary of EMCs in East Swedish. The intonation rise leads to a high tone at the first syllable following the syllable that would have been associated with a high tone were the first word focused (see Figure 1 and 2). Prosody-related ERP effects Steinhauer, Alter, and Friederici (1999) found a N400-P600 pattern for violation of prosody-induced syntactic expectations. N400 is a broadly distributed negativity reflecting semantic integration of stimuli. It often peaks at around 400 ms after stimulus onset. P600 is a positivity that is usually attributed to structural integratioin cost. They also found a positive deflection after prosodic boundaries, that they denominated ‘Closure Positive Shift’ (CPS). Heim and Alter (2006) found an N400-like effect immediately after the detection point of unexpected pitch accents. Intonation, Word Order, and the Brain Mikael Roll and Merle Horne Lund University Figure 1. Spectrogram and F0 contour of an utterance containing an EMC: Jag sa att ölen rinner inte ’(lit.) I said that the beer flows not’. There is a high tone in the second syllable of ölen, the first word of the subordinate clause. Compare to Figure 2, where the high tone is missing. Hypotheses In the current study, we investigate whether the brain uses the intonation rise described by Roll (2004, 2006) for predicting a certain syntactic and semantic structure. If it does, an intonation rise at the beginning of a subordinate clause would make it easier to process a subsequent sentence adverb indicating main clause word order. On the other hand, the rise itself could cause a semantic anomaly if it followed a verb that cannot take an assertion as its complement, like ‘want’ or ‘hope’. Material To test the hypotheses, we created 8 different conditions: 1. Say-type matrix verb+ EMC with boundary tone 2.without boundary tone 3.+ SCwith boundary tone 4.without boundary tone 5. Want-type matrix verb+ EMCwith boundary tone 6.without boundary tone 7.+ SCwith boundary tone 8.without boundary tone 1, 2: Besökarenmenaralltsåatt familjenkänner ju detpåkvällen The.visitormeansaccordinglythatthe.familyfeelof.courseitinthe.evening 3, 4: Besökarenmenaralltsåatt familjenkänner detnupåkvällen The.visitormeansaccordinglythatthe.familyfeelitnowinthe.evening 5, 6: Besökarenhoppasalltsåatt familjenkänner ju detpåkvällen The.visitorhopesaccordinglythatthe.familyfeelof.courseitinthe.evening 7, 8: Besökarenhoppasalltsåatt familjenkänner detnupåkvällen The.visitorhopesaccordinglythatthe.familyfeelitnowinthe.evening In order to avoid influence from other prosodic parameters, manipulated speech was used. The stimulus sentences were put together from three different parts, partly recorded separately. In half the cases, the subordinate clauses were recorded without an initial high tone, and a tone was created for the boundary conditions, in the other half, they were recorded with an initial high tone, which was removed for the non boundary conditions (see Figure 3 and 4). The same segments were used for the part immediately preceding the subordinate clause across conditions, in order to avoid influence from phrase-final prosodic features on att ’that’. For a similar reason, half of the time the main clauses were paired with EMCs, and half of the time with SCs in the recordings, regardless of whether they contained say-like or want-like verbs. Possible ERP effects In accordance with the findings of Heim and Alter (2006), an N400-like effect might be expected at the first word of the subordinate clause in condition 5 and 7, as compared to 1 and 3, since a boundary tone indicating an assertive utterance would be unexpected after a ‘want’-type verb. An N400-effect would be expected at the sentence adverb ju ‘of course’ in conditions 2 and 6 as compared to 1 and 5, since no phrase-initial tone has announced the upcoming main clause word order indicated by the sentence adverb. A CPS might also be expected in conditions 1, 3, 5, and 7, as compared to conditions 2, 4, 6, and 8, since a prosodic boundary is expected to be perceived in these conditions. Figure 2. Spectrogram and F0 contour of an utterance containing an SC: Jag vill att ölen rinner lite ’(lit.) I want that the beer flows a.little’. There is no high tone in the second syllable of ölen. Figure 3. Spectrogram and F0 contour of the EMC in condition 1 and 5 above, familjen känner ju det på kvällen ’(lit.) the family feel of course it in the evening’. There is a naturally produced initial high tone in the EMC Figure 4. Same as Figure 3, but the initial high tone has been removed in order to obtain the prosody- word order mismatch of condition 2 and 6.
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