Cross-linguistic comparison of prosody, syntax and information structure in a production experiment on localising expressions

Féry C, Skopeteas S, Hörnig R (2010)
Transactions of the Philological Society 108(3): 329-351.

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Journal Article | Published | English
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This article presents a crosslinguistic study of semi-spontaneous data obtained from an experiment conducted uniformly for six languages. It examines how native speakers communicate changing spatial layouts of toy animals. The analysis of the data focuses on the universal preference for expressing a given constituent before a new one (Chafe 1976, Clark and Haviland 1977 and many others). In terms of grammatical strategies, speakers universally tend to realize the newly introduced or displaced toy animal in a position where it is aligned with a high-level prosodic domain. A constraint to this aim, called ALIGN-FOCUS-R, is formulated as an optimality-theoretic alignment principle (McCarthy & Prince 1993). Language-dependent syntactic and prosodic restrictions may favour or disfavour this tendency. Some languages may reorder their constituents by scrambling, some may use more costly syntactic and prosodic operations, like dislocations, or the insertion of a prosodic boundary. Some use pitch accents, but some do not possess pitch accents in their phonological inventory. A constituent right aligned with a higher-level prosodic domain may be felt as prominent (Jackendoff 1972, Truckenbrodt 1995, Büring 2009).
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Féry C, Skopeteas S, Hörnig R. Cross-linguistic comparison of prosody, syntax and information structure in a production experiment on localising expressions. Transactions of the Philological Society. 2010;108(3):329-351.
Féry, C., Skopeteas, S., & Hörnig, R. (2010). Cross-linguistic comparison of prosody, syntax and information structure in a production experiment on localising expressions. Transactions of the Philological Society, 108(3), 329-351.
Féry, C., Skopeteas, S., and Hörnig, R. (2010). Cross-linguistic comparison of prosody, syntax and information structure in a production experiment on localising expressions. Transactions of the Philological Society 108, 329-351.
Féry, C., Skopeteas, S., & Hörnig, R., 2010. Cross-linguistic comparison of prosody, syntax and information structure in a production experiment on localising expressions. Transactions of the Philological Society, 108(3), p 329-351.
C. Féry, S. Skopeteas, and R. Hörnig, “Cross-linguistic comparison of prosody, syntax and information structure in a production experiment on localising expressions”, Transactions of the Philological Society, vol. 108, 2010, pp. 329-351.
Féry, C., Skopeteas, S., Hörnig, R.: Cross-linguistic comparison of prosody, syntax and information structure in a production experiment on localising expressions. Transactions of the Philological Society. 108, 329-351 (2010).
Féry, Caroline, Skopeteas, Stavros, and Hörnig, Robin. “Cross-linguistic comparison of prosody, syntax and information structure in a production experiment on localising expressions”. Transactions of the Philological Society 108.3 (2010): 329-351.
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