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Eva Fernández 1,2  Dianne Bradley 2 José Manuel Igoa 3  Celia Teira 3 1 Queens College & 2 Graduate Center, CUNY  3 Universidad Autónoma de Madrid AMLaP.

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Presentation on theme: "Eva Fernández 1,2  Dianne Bradley 2 José Manuel Igoa 3  Celia Teira 3 1 Queens College & 2 Graduate Center, CUNY  3 Universidad Autónoma de Madrid AMLaP."— Presentation transcript:

1 Eva Fernández 1,2  Dianne Bradley 2 José Manuel Igoa 3  Celia Teira 3 1 Queens College & 2 Graduate Center, CUNY  3 Universidad Autónoma de Madrid AMLaP 2003Glasgow, UK  August 2003 Prosodic Phrasing in the RC Attachment Ambiguity: Effects of Language, Position, and RC-Length CUNY UAM

2 RC Attachment: Cross-Linguistic Differences Cuetos & Mitchell (1988) the son of the colonel who tragically died of a stroke. The doctor met… al hijo del coronel que trágicamente murió de apoplejía. El doctor conoció… the son of the colonel al hijo del coronel the son of the colonel al hijo del coronel who tragically died of a stroke. que trágicamente murió de apoplejía. N2 preference in ENGLISH N1 preference in SPANISH

3 Hemforth et al. (submitted) Attachment: English, Spanish, German Off-line questionnaire RC Length (Lng, Shrt)  Position (Obj, Subj) the son of the colonel who tragically died of a stroke. The doctor met… al hijo del coronel que trágicamente murió de apoplejía. El doctor conoció… The doctor met… The son of the colonel …wrote five books on tropical disease. El hijo del coronel El doctor conoció… …escribió cinco libros sobre enfermedades tropicales. who died. que murió. RC Length Prosody Position Discourse EnglishSpanish

4 Language  RC Length Hemforth et al. (submitted)

5 Implicit Prosody Hypothesis (IPH) Fodor (1998, 2002) Prosody projected implicitly can influence attachment decisions RC length: Separate phrasing of long RCs encourages non-local attachment Cross-linguistic differences: Prosodic phrasing principles of Lx and Ly differ somehow

6 Language  Position  RC Length Hemforth et al. (submitted) English, Object English, SubjectSpanish, Subject Spanish, Object

7 Discourse and Position Pre-verbal subjects are more clearly topics in Spanish than English Topics are old information, and are therefore not focused Non-focused phrases resist modification For subject-position materials: Explains the lessening of N1 attachments in Spanish, cf. English ?Does it explain the reduced RC length effect?

8 Prosody and Position Complex NP in Object Position Separate phrasing more likely for long RC than short Phrasal break at N2][RC (Bradley et al., 2003) N2][RC break favors N1 attachment (Lovrić, 2003) Complex NP in Subject Position N2][RC is again possible, but… Entire subject likely separately phrased! N1-of-N2 RC][V Interplay between N2][RC and RC][V (Carlson et al., 2001)? The son of the colonel ][ who … died … ][ wrote …

9 Acoustic Phonetic Study Participants, N = 8 per language English  New York Spanish  Madrid Materials, N = 8  4 per language (selected from Hemforth et al.’s 32  4) Object and subject versions identical in length (Bradley et al., 2003) RC verb always clause-final

10 Materials Examples The guest impressed X.X impressed the guest. El invitado impresionó a X.X impresionó al invitado. X =the brother of the bridegroom who (often unknowingly) snores el hermano del novio que (a menudo inconscientemente) roncaba

11 Procedure The guest impressed the brother of the bridegroom. Which bridegroom? The bridegroom who snores. El invitado impresionó al hermano del novio. ¿Qué novio? El novio que roncaba. The guest impressed the brother of the bridegroom who snores. El invitado impresionó al hermano del novio que roncaba.

12 Analyses Duration measures: Acoustic signature of phrasal breaks Clause-final lengthening and pausing N2][RC … the brother of the bridegroom ][ who … … RC.] …who (often unknowingly) snores. ] … RC][V …who (often unknowingly) snores ][ wrote…

13 N2 Durations: N2][RC English Spanish Long RC Short RC 300 ms  141  86  123  73 Position: F1(1,14) = 9.48, p <.01 F2(1,14) = 14.38, p <.002 RC Length: F1(1,14) = 49.90, p <.001 F2(1,14) = 39.99, p <.001 Position  RC Length: F1(1,14) = 10.69, p <.01 F2(1,14) = 8.85, p <.02

14 RC Verb Durations: RC][V Long RC Short RC 300 ms English Spanish Interaction, Position  Length: F1(1,14) = 5.38, p <.05 F2(1,14) = 4.42, p =.054  2  42  9  52  111  156

15 Summary Object … V N1 N2 ][ RC Subject N1 N2 ][ RC ][ V …

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