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Variation of accent type and of context - influences on pragmatic focus interpretation

: Wollermann, C.; Schade, U.; Schröder, B.

International Speech Communication Association -ISCA-:
INTERSPEECH 2011, 12th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association : Florence, Italy, 28-31 August 2011
Florence, 2011
ISSN: 1990-9772
International Speech Communication Association (Annual Conference INTERSPEECH) <12, 2011, Florence>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer FKIE

We present an empirical study on the variation of accent type and of context on pragmatic focus interpretation. The material was based on audio-recordings of nine German speakers who were instructed to read dialogues with embedded question-answer pairs in which the answers constituted the pragmatic focus of the utterance. Different accent types occurred for marking the focus constituent. The audio-material was presented to 53 subjects. Interpretation was tested by using pictures intended to illustrate the (non-)exhaustive reading. When presenting the picture illustrating the non-exhaustive reading, the results show in general a significant influence of both context and prosody, but the contextual influence is stronger.