Accentuation influences selective attention and the depth of semantic processing during online speech comprehension. We investigated the processing of semantically congruent and incongruent words in a language that presents cues to prosodic prominences in the region of the utterance occurring after the focussed information (the post-focal region). This language is Italian, in particular the variety spoken in Bari. In this variety, questions have a compressed, post-focal accent, whereas in statements there is a low-level pitch in this position. Using event-related potentials, we investigated the processing of congruent and incongruent target words with two prosodic realizations (focussed with accentuation, post-focal realization) and in two-sentence modalities (statement, question). Results indicate an N400 congruence effect that was modulated by position (focal, post-focal) and modality (statement, question): processing was deeper for questions in narrow focus than in post-focal position, while statements showed similar pronounced N400 effects across positions. The attenuated N400 difference for post-focal targets in questions was accompanied by a more enhanced late positivity when they were incongruent, indicating that attentional resources are allocated during updating of speech act information.

Attention allocation in a language with post-focal prominences

Savino M.;
2020-01-01

Abstract

Accentuation influences selective attention and the depth of semantic processing during online speech comprehension. We investigated the processing of semantically congruent and incongruent words in a language that presents cues to prosodic prominences in the region of the utterance occurring after the focussed information (the post-focal region). This language is Italian, in particular the variety spoken in Bari. In this variety, questions have a compressed, post-focal accent, whereas in statements there is a low-level pitch in this position. Using event-related potentials, we investigated the processing of congruent and incongruent target words with two prosodic realizations (focussed with accentuation, post-focal realization) and in two-sentence modalities (statement, question). Results indicate an N400 congruence effect that was modulated by position (focal, post-focal) and modality (statement, question): processing was deeper for questions in narrow focus than in post-focal position, while statements showed similar pronounced N400 effects across positions. The attenuated N400 difference for post-focal targets in questions was accompanied by a more enhanced late positivity when they were incongruent, indicating that attentional resources are allocated during updating of speech act information.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Attention_allocation_in_a_language_with_post_focal_paper-publishedversion.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Documento in Post-print
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 565.2 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
565.2 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11586/310807
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 1
  • Scopus 4
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 4
social impact