Mengzhu Yan and Olcay Turk

Mengzhu Yan and Olcay Turk



Production and Perception of Prosody and Information Structure

The role of prosody in lexical activation in Mandarin & When do we gesture?

A growing body of psycholinguistic research shows that listeners infer contextual alternatives (e.g., door) to an element (e.g., window) in a sentence when it carries contrastive prosodic prominence (e.g., The salesman closed the WINDOW), even when the alternatives are not explicitly mentioned in the discourse. In this presentation, I report a cross-modal priming experiment to test this in Mandarin.

The exact nature of timing relations between speech and gesture has not yet been fully uncovered. We know that manual gestures co-occur with semantically most related speech components. A number of studies also linked gesture to prosody focusing on the temporal coordination between smallest prominent events (pitch accents vs. apexes). I extend these investigations of coordination between prosody and gesture to phrasal levels and also suggest information structure as another modality regulating the temporal coordination.