Journal of Psycholinguistic Research

, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 947–957 | Cite as

Phrase-Final Words in Greek Storytelling Speech: A Study on the Effect of a Culturally-Specific Prosodic Feature on Short-Term Memory

  • Ariadne LoutrariEmail author
  • Freideriki Tselekidou
  • Hariklia Proios


Prosodic patterns of speech appear to make a critical contribution to memory-related processing. We considered the case of a previously unexplored prosodic feature of Greek storytelling and its effect on free recall in thirty typically developing children between the ages of 10 and 12 years, using short ecologically valid auditory stimuli. The combination of a falling pitch contour and, more notably, extensive final-syllable vowel lengthening, which gives rise to the prosodic feature in question, led to statistically significantly higher performance in comparison to neutral phrase-final prosody. Number of syllables in target words did not reveal substantial difference in performance. The current study presents a previously undocumented culturally-specific prosodic pattern and its effect on short-term memory.


Prosody Storytelling Short-term memory Pitch Duration 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ariadne Loutrari
    • 1
    Email author
  • Freideriki Tselekidou
    • 2
  • Hariklia Proios
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Applied Linguistics and CommunicationBirkbeck, University of LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of Education and Social PolicyUniversity of MacedoniaThessalonikiGreece

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