Journal of Psycholinguistic Research

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 193–247 | Cite as

A prosody tutorial for investigators of auditory sentence processing

  • Stefanie Shattuck-HufnagelEmail author
  • Alice E. Turk


In this tutorial we present evidence that, because syntax does not fully predict the way that spoken utterances are organized, prosody is a significant issue for studies of auditory sentence processing. We describe the basic elements and principles of current prosodic theory, review the psycholinguistic evidence that supports an active role for prosodic structure in sentence representation, and provide a road map of references that contain more complete arguments about prosodic structure and prominence. Because current theories do not predict the precise prosodic shape that a particular utterance will take, it is important to determine the prosodic choices that a speaker has made for utterances that are used in an auditory sentence processing study. To this end, we provide information about practical tools such as systems for signal display and prosodic transcription, and several caveats which we have found useful to keep in mind.


Cognitive Psychology Active Role Basic Element Current Theory Significant Issue 
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© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Speech Communications GroupResearch Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusettes Institute of TechnologyCambridge
  2. 2.Department of LinguisticsUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK

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