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date: 06 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Variation in prosody can influence the interpretation of linguistic phenomena in many languages. Type and location of prosodic prominence and prosodic phrase boundaries, differences in overall fundamental frequency (f0) contours, and changes in intensity, duration, and speaking rate can serve to inform hearers about syntactic attachment, disambiguate scope of modifiers and negation, signal information status, indicate type of speech act or propositional attitude, and contribute to the licensing of implicatures and to reference resolution. This chapter discusses aspects of prosodic variation and pragmatic meaning which have been explored in linguistics, computational linguistics, and psycholinguistics. It begins by describing some commonly used frameworks for representing prosody, including the ToBI framework, which is used to identify prosodic variation throughout. The pragmatic influence of prosody on the interpretation of syntactic, semantic, and discourse phenomena is then examined. It concludes by suggesting new avenues for research in the relationship between prosody and pragmatic interpretation.

Keywords: prosody, intonation, pragmatics, semantic interpretation, discourse

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