Although the presence or absence of a pitch accent clearly can play an important role in signaling the discourse and information structure of an utterance, whether the form of an accent determines the type of information it conveys is more controversial. We used an eye-tracking paradigm to investigate whether H*, which has been argued to signal new information, evokes different eye fixations than L+H*, which has been argued to signal the presence of contrast. Our results demonstrate that although listeners interpret these accents differently, their interpretive domains overlap. L+H* creates a strong bias toward contrast referents whereas H* is compatible with both new and contrast referents.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Artificial Intelligence