Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info


New from Oxford University Press!

ad

Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice

By Ingrid Piller

Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice "prompts thinking about linguistic disadvantage as a form of structural disadvantage that needs to be recognized and taken seriously."


New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

Language Evolution: The Windows Approach

By Rudolf Botha

Language Evolution: The Windows Approach addresses the question: "How can we unravel the evolution of language, given that there is no direct evidence about it?"


The LINGUIST List is dedicated to providing information on language and language analysis, and to providing the discipline of linguistics with the infrastructure necessary to function in the digital world. LINGUIST is a free resource, run by linguistics students and faculty, and supported primarily by your donations. Please support LINGUIST List during the 2016 Fund Drive.

Academic Paper


Title: Syntactic ambiguity resolution and the prosodic foot: Cross-language differences
Author: Conrad Perry
Institution: Swinburne University of Technology
Author: Man-Kit Kan
Institution: University of Hong Kong
Author: Stephen Matthews
Homepage: http://www.hku.hk/linguist/staff/sjm.htm
Institution: University of Hong Kong
Author: Richard Kwok-Shing Wong
Institution: Hong Kong Institute of Education
Linguistic Field: Phonology; Psycholinguistics; Syntax
Subject Language: Chinese, Mandarin
Chinese, Yue
Abstract: In this study we examined syntactic ambiguity resolution in two different Chinese languages, Cantonese and Mandarin, which are relatively similar grammatically but very different phonologically. We did this using four-character sentences that could be read using two, two-syllable sequences (2-2) or a structure where the first syllable could be read by itself. The results showed that when both potential readings were semantically congruent, Mandarin speakers had a strong preference for the 2-2 structure and they preferred that structure much more than Cantonese speakers did. We attribute this to Mandarin having a more dominant bisyllabic prosodic foot than Cantonese. When the 2-2 meaning was semantically incongruent, however, the alternative structure was preferred by both Mandarin and Cantonese speakers. Overall, the results suggest that, in silent reading tasks and semantically neutral conditions, the prosodic foot is generated automatically and can affect syntactic choices when ambiguity arises.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 27, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site .



Add a new paper
Return to Academic Papers main page
Return to Directory of Linguists main page