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In principle, a prosodic boundary in an utterance might affect its interpretation in a local, context-independent fashion. In a right-branching language like English, the presence of a large prosodic boundary might signal the end of the current constituent, requiring the following constituent to be attached high in the syntactic tree. We present three(More)
Five studies explored the processing of ambiguous sentences like Martin maintained that the CEO lied when the investigation started/at the start of the investigation. The central question was why particular prosodic boundaries have the effects they do. A written questionnaire provided baseline preferences and suggested that clausal adjuncts (when the(More)
Recent work on the nature of faithfulness constraints in Optimality Theory (Prince and Smolensky 1993) has proposed distinct faithfulness constraints for roots and affixes. The distinction between root and affix faithfulness has been employed in the analysis of the privileged status of roots in a variety of phonological systems, such as root-controlled(More)
Words, like musical notes, are grouped together into phrases by their rhythmic and durational properties as well as their tonal pitch. This 'prosodic phrasing' affects the understanding of sentences. Many processing studies of prosody have investigated sentences with a single, grammatically required prosodic boundary, which might be interpreted strictly(More)
The rational speaker hypothesis (Clifton, Carlson, & Frazier, 2002) claims that speakers are self-consistent, employing intonation in a manner consistent with their intended message. Preceding a constituent by a prosodic boundary that is not required by the grammar often signals that this constituent is not part of the immediately preceding phrase. However,(More)
In an experiment spanning a week, American English speakers imitated a Glaswegian (Scottish) English speaker. The target sounds were allophones of /t/ and /r/, as the Glaswegian speaker aspirated word-medial /t/ but pronounced /r/ as a flap initially and medially. This experiment therefore explored (a) whether speakers could learn to reassign a sound they(More)