Article published in:Above and Beyond the Segments: Experimental linguistics and phonetics
Edited by Johanneke Caspers, Yiya Chen, Willemijn Heeren, Jos Pacilly, Niels O. Schiller and Ellen van Zanten
[Not in series 189] 2014
► pp. 174–188
Phonetic aspects of polar questions in Sienese
An experimental approach
This study provides empirical evidence for the monoclausal status of a specific polar interrogative construction in Sienese, an Italian dialect spoken in Tuscany. At first sight, this question type looks like a biclausal discourse including two separate questions. There is however considerable syntactic evidence in favor of a monoclausal analysis. A production experiment was conducted to find out whether any correlations can be established between the underlying syntactic structure and the phonetic realization of polar questions in Sienese. The results indicate that these structures systematically correlate with distinctive prosodic properties that unambiguously establish their monoclausal status. This contribution shows how experimental approaches may be used as a powerful tool for testing syntactic hypotheses.
Published online: 10 December 2014
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