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Research on syntax in recent decades has focused on four overlapping topics: 1. the laws that govern the assignment of words to positions in a hierarchical syntactic structure; 2. the laws that govern the assignment of words to more than one position in hierarchical syntactic structure (movement or chain formation); 3. the interface between syntactic(More)
Preposed negation yes/no (yn)-questions like Doesn't John drink? necessarily carry the implicature that the speaker thinks John drinks, whereas non-preposed negation yn-questions like Does John not drink? do not necessarily trigger this implicature. Furthermore, preposed negation yn-questions have a reading " double-checking " Ô and a reading "(More)
Prosodic and syntactic constraints conflict with each other. This is particularly evident in the expression of focus, where the best position for main stress does not necessarily match the best syntactic position for the focused constituent. But focus and stress must match, therefore either stress or the focused constituent must renounce their best position(More)
Prosodic information is crucial for spoken language comprehension and especially for syntactic parsing, because prosodic cues guide the hearer's syntactic analysis. The time course and mechanisms of this interplay of prosody and syntax are not yet well-understood. In particular, there is an ongoing debate whether local prosodic cues are taken into account(More)
Assimilation is often controlled by a segment in a particular position. For instance, vowel harmony is often root-or stem-controlled, meaning that the value of the harmonic feature in the root morpheme (more accurately, the stem of affixation) remains constant while the value of the feature in affixes alternates to agree with the root. Similarly, in voicing(More)
Processing of an obligatory phonotactic restriction outside the focus of the participants' attention was investigated by means of ERPs using (reversed) experimental oddball blocks. Dorsal fricative assimilation (DFA) is a phonotactic constraint in German grammar that is violated in *[epsilonx] but not in [open ox], [epsilonintegral], and [open ointegral].(More)
Previous studies have revealed that infants aged 6-10 months are able to use the acoustic correlates of major prosodic boundaries, that is, pitch change, preboundary lengthening, and pause, for the segmentation of the continuous speech signal. Moreover, investigations with American-English- and Dutch-learning infants suggest that processing prosodic(More)