We are happy to announce the next talk in the Phonology Colloquium by Stefan Baumann (IfL Phonetik, University of Cologne).
Title: Are highlighted words always informative? On the complex relationship between prosodic prominence and meaning
Date: Wednesday, 11.05.2022
Location: in person on campus IG 4.301 (in addition, we will stream the talk via Zoom, see below)
When speakers communicate with each other, relevant parts of an utterance may either be actively highlighted through prosodic and syntactic means, or they are informative in themselves, such as novel or important discourse topics and uncommon words. As a result of both prosodic and syntactic highlighting and semantic-pragmatic informativeness, listeners perceive certain elements of an utterance as more or less prominent.
The talk will examine the basic assumption that there is a direct correspondence between the two levels, such that (prosodically) highlighted elements should at the same time be more informative, and vice versa. This relationship has been shown to be much more complex, however, given the multidimensionality of form-related and meaning-related cues. In fact, an appropriate description of the relation between prosodic prominence and informativeness is probabilistic in nature and has to account for factors as diverse as the rhythmical structure and relativity of prominences within utterances, listener expectations as well as speaker and listener variability including the influence of speaking style and other aspects pertaining to the type of situation.
If you are registered in Olat you’ll find the Zoom link there. If you want to participate via Zoom, please register via email to Alina Gregori: gregori AT lingua.uni-frankfurt.de