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The role of prosody in language comprehension and turn-taking


Bögels,  Sara
Language and Cognition Department, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;
INTERACT, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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Bögels, S. (2016). The role of prosody in language comprehension and turn-taking. Talk presented at the Language and Cognition Group, University of Leiden. Leiden, The Netherlands. 2016-05-12.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002B-03A8-D
In this talk I will discuss two strands of research concerning the role of prosody: (1) in sentence comprehension and (2) in turn-taking. In the first, relatively brief part, I will outline how I have studied spoken sentence comprehension using EEG. I will give an example of a study showing that prosodic information can be very relevant for understanding sentence structure, and in some cases even overrides syntax. In the second part I will show four recent studies that all more or less directly show the importance of final prosodic cues in determining turn ends in turn-taking. The first one uses breathing measurements to show that articulation appears to be timed very closely to the turn end. The next two studies employ an experimental button-press paradigm to show that listeners use turn-final prosodic cues to determine turn ends, in questions and in turns more generally. In the last study, we used a vocal reaction time paradigm to show that listeners can use prosodic cues to anticipate turn ends.