Prosodic disambiguation and attachment height

Nino Grillo, Giuseppina Turco

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This study investigates the role played by prosody in the syntactic and semantic disambiguation of string identical Relative Clauses (RC) and Pseudo Relatives (PR) in Italian. While RCs are embedded within the Noun Phrase (NP) they modify, PRs sit in a higher position in the syntactic structure, standing in a sisterhood relation with the head Noun. A production study with 8 Italian speakers set to determine whether and how this structural difference is encoded at a prosodic level. Preliminary results suggest that the minimal pairs are disambiguated at a prosodic level and that such disambiguation is encoded as early as at the NP-head. We discuss how this prosodic evidence reflects the structural difference highlighted above.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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