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Title: Prosodic organization and focus realization in Taiwan Mandarin
Authors: Hsu, YY 
German, JS
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Association for Computational Linguistics
Source: Proceedings of the 32nd Pacific Asia Conference on Language, Information and Computation, Hong Kong, 1-3 December 2018, p. 205-211 How to cite?
Abstract: Cross-linguistically, the way that focus is marked through prosody can depend on a variety of factors, including local constraints on prosodic organization or the position of a word within the larger focus constituent. Here we report on a production study that explores the possible influence of prosodic organization and position on focus realization in Taiwan Mandarin. The materials consisted of sentences in which the syntactic subject consisted of a monosyllabic numeral, classifier, and noun. The context was manipulated to elicit narrow information focus (i.e., using wh-questions) on either the numeral, the noun, or the entire NP. The resulting target syllables were then analyzed in terms of their F0 characteristics, duration, and amplitude. The results revealed clear asymmetries in how the numeral and noun were realized in their corresponding singleword narrow focus condition versus in the NP focus condition, though confiding to the intrinsic tone-patterns (e.g., Tone 1 versus Tone 3 words showed different contours). Moreover, the classifier did not always conform to its expected status when external to the focus constituent. These results thus show that focus effects in Taiwan Mandarin cannot be explained in terms of single parameter acoustic enhancement on individual focused words, and they suggest that focus marking in that variety is conditioned by independent constraints on local prosodic structure.
Rights: Copyright 2018 by the authors
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The following publication Hsu, Y. Y., & German, J. S. (2018). Prosodic organization and focus realization in Taiwan Mandarin. In The 32nd Pacific Asia Conference on Language, Information and Computation (PACLIC), Hong Kong, 1-3 December 2018, p. 205-211 is available at
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