Prosodic boundaries in the vicinity of utterance-medial parentheticals in French

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This paper investigates prosodic boundary cues in and around utterance-medial parenthetical clauses in French. Three native speakers were recorded in a sound booth reading thirty-six utterances. Each utterance contained a parenthetical (PA) of variable length, preceded by a noun phrase (NP) and followed by a verb phrase (VP) whose lengths were also varied. Utterances contained only voiced sounds, and the same ratio of high and low vowels. Speakers uttered each Phonological Utterance (PU) as three separate Intonation Phrases (IPs) corresponding to the NPs, PAs, and VPs. The final syllable of each phrase was realized with significantly more lengthening than syllables within the phrase, and pitch was scaled higher at the edges of than within major syntactic phrases. Silent pauses within the PU were optional. If occurred, they were only realized at the edges of PAs. These results support prosodic and non-linear syntactic representations of parentheticals as autonomous phrase structures within the utterance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-111
Number of pages19
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 26 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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