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ERIC Number: EJ802594
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Phonological Phrase Boundaries Constrain the Online Syntactic Analysis of Spoken Sentences
Millotte, Severine; Rene, Alice; Wales, Roger; Christophe, Anne
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v34 n4 p874-885 Jul 2008
Two experiments tested whether phonological phrase boundaries constrain online syntactic analysis in French. Pairs of homophones belonging to different syntactic categories (verb and adjective) were used to create sentences with a local syntactic ambiguity (e.g., [le petit chien "mort"], in English, the "dead" little dog, vs. [le petit chien] ["mord"], in English, the little dog "bites", where brackets indicate phonological phrase boundaries). An expert speaker recorded the sentences with either a maximally informative prosody or a minimally informative one. Participants correctly assigned the appropriate syntactic category to the target word, even without any access to the lexical disambiguating information, in both a completion task (Experiment 1) and an abstract word detection task (Experiment 2). The size of the experimental effect was modulated by the prosodic manipulation (maximally vs. minimally informative), guaranteeing that prosody played a crucial role in disambiguation. The authors discuss the implications of these results for models of online speech perception and language acquisition. (Contains 4 figures and 9 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: France