Immediate use of prosody and context in predicting a syntactic structure

Chie Nakamura*, Manabu Arai, Reiko Mazuka


研究成果: Article査読

29 被引用数 (Scopus)


Numerous studies have reported an effect of prosodic information on parsing but whether prosody can impact even the initial parsing decision is still not evident. In a visual world eye-tracking experiment, we investigated the influence of contrastive intonation and visual context on processing temporarily ambiguous relative clause sentences in Japanese. Our results showed that listeners used the prosodic cue to make a structural prediction before hearing disambiguating information. Importantly, the effect was limited to cases where the visual scene provided an appropriate context for the prosodic cue, thus eliminating the explanation that listeners have simply associated marked prosodic information with a less frequent structure. Furthermore, the influence of the prosodic information was also evident following disambiguating information, in a way that reflected the initial analysis. The current study demonstrates that prosody, when provided with an appropriate context, influences the initial syntactic analysis and also the subsequent cost at disambiguating information. The results also provide first evidence for pre-head structural prediction driven by prosodic and contextual information with a head-final construction.

出版ステータスPublished - 2012 11月

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • 実験心理学および認知心理学
  • 言語および言語学
  • 発達心理学および教育心理学
  • 言語学および言語
  • 認知神経科学


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