Prosodic boundary incongruences in oral reading
Keywords:Oral reading, Actor identification, Prosodic boundaries
Background: Characteristics of oral readings are well studied in school-aged children and teenagers, but not in educated adults. Objectives: Assess the prevalence of prosodic boundary incongruences in oral readings of adult, native, educated, Brazilian Portuguese speakers and analyze their correlations with specific linguist features. Design, settings, and participants: We studied an online video corpus of political speeches delivered by house members of the Brazilian parliament between 2017 and 2018, and their respective written texts. Measurements: We assessed a) prosodic boundary incongruences between oral readings and written texts, b) actor prototypicality of the subjects, c) thematic continuity of the sentences, and d) a variable called 'sufficiency', related to the concept of argumenthood, assorting each word according to its need for complementary words. The inter-rater reliability of the author's perceptions of incongruences underwent Cohen's Kappa test. Results: In 5 hours of oral readings, we found a median of 1.4 prosodic boundary incongruences per minute (interquartile range: 0.766 - 2.212). 80% of the incongruences were insertions of non-terminal or terminal boundaries. Prosodic boundary incongruency correlated positively with a) thematic continuity of the incongruent sentences (p-value = 0.0006345), b) the concept of 'sufficiency' (p-value < 2.2e-16); and correlated negatively with c) first-person subjects (p-value = 0.0002584). Limitations: The assessment of the variables was subjective, and we did not control sentences for their lengths when analyzing variables 'b' and 'c'. Conclusions: Prosodic boundary incongruences were relatively common in our corpus. We introduced some hypotheses to explain the results.
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Copyright (c) 2021 André Luiz de Faria Leite, Aveliny Mantovan Lima
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