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Prosody in the interpretation of ambiguity


Prosodic stress
Prosodic pause
Syntactic ambiguity

How to Cite

Almeida RAS de, Oliveira Junior M, Cozijn R. Prosody in the interpretation of ambiguity. J. of Speech Sci. [Internet]. 2020 Aug. 3 [cited 2023 Jun. 9];8(1):03-1. Available from:


The present paper aims to analyze the role of prosody in the resolution of global ambiguity in sentences of the type NP1 - Verb - NP2 - Adverb of place - Adverb of intensity (very) - Attribute, e.g., “The guitarist received the drummer at the room very drugged” (O guitarrista recebeu o baterista no quarto bastante drogado), in Brazilian Portuguese (BP). We consider the hypothesis that prosodic cues, such as stress and pause, assist in the process of disambiguation, both in isolation and in conjunction. The experimental paradigm of the present study used an off-line method of linguistic processing through a questionnaire with Likert scale questions. The results revealed a predominance of non-local apposition judgments in all analyzed conditions. However, the choice of assigning the adjective to the first nominal phrase increased, in a statistically significant way, in the conditions in which there was prosodic manipulation for that purpose, confirmation our hypothesis.


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2020 René Alain Santana de Almeida, Miguel Oliveira Jr, Reinier Cozijn


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