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Contrast or context, that is the question

Cangemi, F., Grice, M., Jeon, H.-S. and Setter, J. ORCID: (2023) Contrast or context, that is the question. In: The 20th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS), 7-11 August 2023, Prague, Czechia, pp. 1360-1364. (Radek Skarnitzl & Jan Volín (eds). Guarant International. ISBN 9788090811423)

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In the past decades, most research on question intonation has relied on controlled experimental tasks for the production and perception of syntactically well-formed, pragmatically or syntactically ambiguous, unbiased and genuine requests for new information. The exploration of a real-life interaction in East Midlands British English shows that such questions are neither frequent nor typical. Prosodic information does undoubtedly contribute to the identification of questions, as shown by comparing questionhood ratings, based on either audio recordings or orthographic transcriptions only. However, compared to the role of syntactic, lexical, contextual, sequential, and interactional information, the role of speech prosody is shown to be marginal. These findings suggest that prosodic information is difficult to isolate or to manipulate independently. Therefore, question intonation can only be adequately studied by taking into account naturalistic, contextrich, spontaneous behaviour.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions:Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM)
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Language and Applied Linguistics
ID Code:112959
Additional Information:Full published conference proceedings are available at


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