Advertisement

Contrastive Prosody and the Subsequent Mention of Alternatives During Discourse Processing

  • Amy J. SchaferEmail author
  • Amber Camp
  • Hannah Rohde
  • Theres Grüter
Chapter
Part of the Studies in Theoretical Psycholinguistics book series (SITP, volume 48)

Abstract

Linguistic research has long viewed prosody as an important indicator of information structure in intonationally rich languages like English. Correspondingly, numerous psycholinguistic studies have shown significant effects of prosody, particularly with respect to the immediate processing of a prosodically prominent phrase. Although co-reference resolution is known to be influenced by information structure, it has been less clear whether prosodic prominence can affect decisions about next mention in a discourse, and if so, how. We present results from an open-ended story continuation task, conducted as part of a series of experiments that examine how prosody influences the anticipation and resolution of co-reference. Overall results from the project suggest that prosodic prominence can increase or decrease reference to a saliently pitch-accented phrase, depending on additional circumstances of the referential decision. We argue that an adequate account of prosody’s role in co-reference requires consideration of how the processing system interfaces with multiple levels of linguistic representation.

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to all who made it possible for us to join in the celebration of Lyn Frazier and her contributions to our field, including, most prominently, Lyn Frazier herself. This research was supported by a grant to T. Grüter and A. Schafer from the National Science Foundation (BCS-1251450). It was further supported by research assistance from A. L. Blake, Bonnie Fox, Victoria Lee, Wenyi Ling, Ivana Matson, and Maho Takahashi, and helpful comments from the reviewers of this chapter and attendees at Lynschrift18. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

References

  1. Arnold, J. E. (2001). The effect of thematic roles on pronoun use and frequency of reference continuation. Discourse Processes, 31(2), 137–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arnold, J. E. (2010). How speakers refer: The role of accessibility. Language and Linguistics Compass, 4, 187–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Arnold, J. E., Kaiser, E., Kahn, J. M., & Kim, L. K. (2013). Information structure: Linguistic, cognitive, and processing approaches. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, 4(4), 403–413.Google Scholar
  4. Balogh, J. (2003). Pronouns, prosody, and the discourse anaphora weighting approach. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of California, San Diego.Google Scholar
  5. Bates, D., Maechler, M., Bolker, B., & Walker, S. (2015). Fitting linear mixed-effects models using lme4. Journal of Statistical Software, 67(1), 1–48.  https://doi.org/10.18637/jss.v067.i01.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Beckman, M., & Ayers Elam, G. (1997). Guidelines for ToBI labeling, version 3. Unpublished manuscript. Department of Linguistics, Ohio State University, Columbus.Google Scholar
  7. Braun, B., & Tagliapietra, L. (2011). On-line interpretation of intonational meaning in L2. Language and Cognitive Processes, 26, 224–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Breen, M., Fedorenko, E., Wagner, M., & Gibson, E. (2010). Acoustic correlates of information structure. Language and Cognitive Processes, 25(7), 1044–1098.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Büring, D. (2016). Intonation and meaning. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Calhoun, S. (2010). The centrality of metrical structure in signaling information structure: A probabilistic perspective. Language, 86(1), 1–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Carlson, K. (2002). Parallelism and prosody in the processing of ellipsis sentences. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. Carlson, K. (2009). How prosody influences sentence comprehension. Language and Linguistics Compass, 3(5), 1188–1200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Carlson, K., & Harris, J. A. (2018). Zero-Adjective contrast in much-less ellipsis: The advantage for parallel syntax. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 33(1), 77–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Carlson, K., Dickey, M., Frazier, L., & Clifton, C. (2009). Information structure expectations in sentence comprehension. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 62, 114–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Colonna, S., Schimke, S., & Hemforth, B. (2015). Different effects of focus in intra- and inter-sentential pronoun resolution in German. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 30, 1306–1325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Constant, N. (2012). English rise-fall-rise: A study in the semantics and pragmatics of intonation. Linguistics and Philosophy, 35, 407–442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Cowles, H., Walenski, M., & Kluender, R. (2007). Linguistic and cognitive prominence in anaphor resolution: Topic, contrastive focus and pronouns. Topoi, 26, 3–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dahan, D. (2015). Prosody and language comprehension. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, 6(5), 441–452.Google Scholar
  19. Dahan, D., Tanenhaus, M., & Chambers, C. G. (2002). Accent and reference resolution in spoken-language comprehension. Journal of Memory and Language, 47, 292–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Dennison, H. (2010). Processing implied meaning through contrastive prosody. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Hawaii, Manoa.Google Scholar
  21. Dennison, H., & Schafer, A. J. (2017). Processing intonationally implicated contrast versus negation in American English. Language and Speech, 60, 174–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fraundorf, S. H., Watson, D. G., & Benjamin, A. S. (2010). Recognition memory reveals just how CONTRASTIVE contrastive accenting really is. Journal of Memory and Language, 63, 367–386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Frazier, L. (1987). Syntactic processing: Evidence from Dutch. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory, 5(4), 519–559.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gordon, P. C., Grosz, B. J., & Gilliom, L. A. (1993). Pronouns, names, and the centering of attention in discourse. Cognitive Science, 17(3), 311–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Grüter, T., Rohde, H., & Schafer, A. J. (2017). Coreference and discourse coherence in L2: The roles of grammatical aspect and referential form. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, 7, 199–229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Husband, E. M., & Ferreira, F. (2016). The role of selection in the comprehension of focus alternatives. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 31, 217–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ito, K., & Speer, S. R. (2008). Anticipatory effects of intonation: Eye movements during instructed visual search. Journal of Memory and Language, 58, 541–573.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Itzhak, I., & Baum, S. R. (2015). Misleading bias-driven expectations in referential processing and the facilitative role of contrastive accent. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 44, 623–650.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Jackendoff, R. S. (1972). Semantic interpretation in generative grammar. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  30. Kaiser, E. (2010). Investigating the consequences of focus on the production and comprehension of referring expressions. International Review of Pragmatics, 2(2), 266–297.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kaiser, E. (2011). Focusing on pronouns: Consequences of subjecthood, pronominalisation, and contrastive focus. Language and Cognitive Processes, 26, 1625–1666.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kehler, A. (2002). Coherence, reference, and the theory of grammar. Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications.Google Scholar
  33. Kehler, A., Kertz, L., Rohde, H., & Elman, J. L. (2008). Coherence and coreference revisited. Journal of Semantics, 25, 1–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kim, C. S., Gunlogson, C., Tanenhaus, M. K., & Runner, J. T. (2015). Context-driven expectations about focus alternatives. Cognition, 139, 28–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kurumada, C., Brown, M., Bibyk, S., Pontillo, D. F., & Tanenhaus, M. K. (2014). Is it or isn’t it: Listeners make rapid use of prosody to infer speaker meanings. Cognition, 133, 335–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Pierrehumbert, J., & Hirschberg, J. (1990). The meaning of intonational contours in interpretation of discourse. In P. Cohen, J. Morgan, & M. Pollack (Eds.), Intentions in communication (pp. 271–311). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  37. R Core Team. (2017). R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. https://www.R-project.org/.
  38. Roberts, C. (2012). Information structure in discourse: Towards an integrated formal theory of pragmatics. Semantics & Pragmatics, 5, 1–69.Google Scholar
  39. Rohde, H., & Kehler, A. (2014). Grammatical and information-structural influences on pronoun production. Language, Cognition, and Neuroscience, 29, 912–927.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Rooth, M. (1992). A theory of focus interpretation. Natural Language Semantics, 1, 75–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Schafer, A. J., Carter, J., Clifton, C., & Frazier, L. (1996). Focus in relative clause construal. Language and Cognitive Processes, 11, 135–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Schafer, A. J., Takeda, A., Camp, A., Rohde, H., & Grüter, T. (2015). Effects of contrastive intonation and grammatical aspect on processing coreference in Mainstream American English. In The Scottish Consortium for ICPhS 2015 (Ed.), Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of the Phonetic Sciences, Glasgow, Scotland: The University of Glasgow. ISBN 978-0-85261-941-4. Paper number 463. https://www.internationalphoneticassociation.org/icphs-proceedings/ICPhS2015/Papers/ICPHS0463.pdf.
  43. Schafer, A. J., Takeda, A., Rohde, H., & Grüter, T. (2015, November). Mapping prosody to reference in L2. Poster presented at the 40th Boston University Conference on Language Development, Boston, MA.Google Scholar
  44. Schumacher, P. B., Backhaus, J., & Dangl, M. (2015). Backward- and forward-looking potential of anaphors. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 1746.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Selkirk, E. O. (1984). Phonology and syntax. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  46. Selkirk, E. O. (1995). Sentence prosody: Intonation, stress and phrasing. In J. Goldsmith (Ed.), Handbook of phonological theory (pp. 550–569). Oxford, England: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  47. Shattuck-Hufnagel, S., & Turk, A. E. (1996). A prosody tutorial for investigators of auditory sentence processing. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 25(2), 193–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Steedman, M. (2014). The surface-compositional semantics of English intonation. Language, 90(1), 2–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Stevenson, R. J., Crawley, R. A., & Kleinman, D. (1994). Thematic roles, focusing and the representation of events. Language and Cognitive Processes, 9, 519–548.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Tomioka, S. (2010). Contrastive topics operate on speech acts. In C. Féry & M. Zimmerman (Eds.), Information structure: Theoretical, typological, and experimental perspectives (pp. 115–138). Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amy J. Schafer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Amber Camp
    • 1
  • Hannah Rohde
    • 2
  • Theres Grüter
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsUniversity of Hawaiʻi at MānoaHonoluluUSA
  2. 2.Linguistics and English LanguageUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK
  3. 3.Department of Second Language StudiesUniversity of Hawaiʻi at MānoaHonoluluUSA

Personalised recommendations