Evidence for the influence of syntax on prosodic parsing

Andrés Buxó-Lugo, Duane G. Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigate whether expectations based on syntactic position influence the processing of intonational boundaries. In a boundary detection task, we manipulated (a) the strength of cues to the presence of a boundary and (b) whether or not a location in the sentence was a plausible location for an intonational boundary to occur given the syntactic structure. Listeners consistently reported hearing more boundaries at syntactically licensed locations than at syntactically unlicensed locations, even when the acoustic evidence for an intonational boundary was controlled. This suggests that the processing of an intonational boundary is a product of both acoustic cues and listener expectations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Memory and Language
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Language processing
  • Prosody
  • Psycholinguistics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence


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