LINGUIST List 10.873

Tue Jun 8 1999

Books: Discourse

Editor for this issue: Anthony Rodrigues Aristar <aristarlinguistlist.org>


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  1. Rint Sybesma, New: Van Donzel, Prosodic Aspects of Information: Structure in Discourse

Message 1: New: Van Donzel, Prosodic Aspects of Information: Structure in Discourse

Date: Mon, 31 May 1999 21:33:11 +0200
From: Rint Sybesma <rinthagpub.com>
Subject: New: Van Donzel, Prosodic Aspects of Information: Structure in Discourse

Now Available From Thesus / Holland Academic Graphics
 <www.hagpub.com>

Monique van Donzel
Prosodic Aspects of Information: Structure in Discourse

The research described in this thesis focuses on how speakers make use of
prosodic aspects (such as accent lending and boundary marking pitch
movements and pauses) to realize the structure of spoken discourse.
Structure in this respect refers to discourse boundaries of different depths
on the one hand, and to important information at the word level on the
other. Furthermore, it was investigated how listeners make use of these
prosodic cues to detect the structure of spoken discourse, again in terms of
boundaries such as sentences and paragraphs, and informative words. To
this end, Van Donzel first develops a text-based framework to analyze the
structure of spontaneously spoken discourse. The application of this
framework to the verbatim transcriptions of spoken discourse then provided
a detailed analysis in terms of discourse boundaries and important
information. The combination of i. the actual prosodic realization by the
speakers, and ii. the structure perceived by the listeners, provided useful
information about what prosodic means are used in the realization and
perception of the structure of spoken discourse.
 The results of the present study show that speakers make use of
boundary tones and/or pauses to mark discourse boundaries, dependent on
the depth of the boundary. Pauses are important for listeners to decide
where boundaries occur in the discourse. To mark important information at
the word level, speakers mainly make use of pitch accents. Information that
is new to the discourse is realized with a pitch accent more often than
information that adds little to the content. Pitch accents are also indicative
for listeners to perceive important information. 
 This study is of interest to experimental phoneticians, as well as to
researchers in the field of discourse studies and pragmatics.

Contents
1. General introduction 2. The relation between textual information
structure an dperceived prominence in discourse 3. Prosodic speaker
chracteristics 4. Prosodic characteristics of discourse boundaries 5.
Prosodic
characteristics of focal structure 6. General discussion

1999. IFOTT/University of Amsterdam Dissertation. [LOT International
Series 23.] ISBN 90-5569-089-9. Paperback. x + 196 pp. Price: EUR 24.42.
(Individuals ordering directly from Holland Academic Graphics are eligible
for a 33% discount.)


Rint Sybesma
Holland Academic Graphics

PO Box 53292
2505 AG The Hague
The Netherlands

fax: +31 70 448 0177
http://www.hagpub.com



Rint Sybesma
Holland Academic Graphics

PO Box 53292
2505 AG The Hague
The Netherlands

fax: +31 70 448 0177
http://www.hagpub.com
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1999 Contributors

  • Arnold Publishers
  • Blackwell Publishers
  • Cascadilla Press
  • CSLI Publications
  • Elsevier Science, Ltd.
  • Finno-Ugrian Society
  • Indiana University Linguistics Club Publications
  • John Benjamins Publishing Company
  • Kluwer Academic Publishers
  • Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc.
  • Lincom Europa
  • MIT Press--Books Division
  • MIT Working Papers in Linguisticsi
  • Mouton de Gruyter
  • Pacific Linguistics
  • Summer Institute of Linguistics
  • Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS
  • Vaxjo:Acta Wexionesia