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date: 19 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter investigates the relation between ellipsis and prosody. Prosody is most frequently described as “the organizational structure of speech” (Beckman 1996). It has been defined in terms of three independent factors of the phonological representation: “intonation, phrasal rhythmic patterning and prosodic phrasing” (Selkirk 1995: 550). Prosody plays an important role in the interpretation of elliptical utterances and bridges the gap between what is overtly expressed and what is understood. There are three specific research areas where prosody has been claimed to be relevant: first, prosody-related licensing of ellipsis; second, prosody-related conditions of recoverability of deletion; third, prosodic effects with respect to the question of whether there is structure in the ellipsis site. In this area, research has focused on prosodic conditions on extraction and locality. This chapter is structured accordingly. It first summarizes the prosodic system of English and then reviews the research on how prosody bears on the central issues of the theory of ellipsis (licensing, recoverability, structure in the ellipsis site). The discussion shows that the interaction of prosody and the absence of sound contributes to the understanding of the theories of sound–meaning correspondence.

Keywords: prosody, intonation, pitch accent, prosodic phrasing, prosodic licensing, focus, deaccentuation, parallelism, recoverability, contrast

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