Prosodic segmentation and functional correlations: the case of Japanese

Massimo Moneglia, Emanuela Cresti

Abstract


This paper presents a pilot based on the NUCC corpus aimed at verifying the consistency of the Language into Act Theory (L-AcT) for the annotation of information structure in spoken Japanese. L-AcT focus on the perceptual relevance of prosodic breaks, foresees a strict correspondence between prosodic units and information units and bases the Information structure on the unit bearing the illocutionary cues (Comment). The model also foresees a language independent typology of information functions. The pilot shows that the detection of terminal breaks in speech goes hand in hand with the identification of speech acts by competent speakers. L-AcT works fine in all its basic principles and specifically for the illocutionary definition of the Comment. The main information unit types (Topic, Parenthesis and Appendix and Dialogic Units) also fit with Japanese. Information structure turns out largely language independent, for instance Japanese word order (SOV) applies within the Information unit but it does not across information units

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