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    Rights statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Quantitative Linguistics on 24/11/2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09296174.2016.1260275

    Accepted author manuscript, 142 KB, PDF document

    Available under license: CC BY-NC: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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Units and constituency in prosodic analysis: a quantitative assessment

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Quantitative Linguistics
Issue number2-3
Volume24
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)163-177
Publication statusPublished
Early online date24/11/16
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Drawing on methods from quantitative linguistics, this paper tests the hypothesis that the intonation unit is a valid language construct whose immediate constituent is the foot (and whose own immediate constituent is the syllable). If the hypothesis is true, then the lengths of intonation units, measured in feet, should abide by a regular and parsimonious discrete probability distribution, and the immediate constituency relationship between feet and intonation units should be further demonstrable by successfully fitting the Menzerath-Altmann equation with a negative exponent. However, out of sixteen texts from the Aix-MARSEC database, only six share a common probability distribution and only eight exhibit a tolerable fit of the Menzerath-Altmann equation. A failure rate of ≥ 50% in both cases casts doubt on the validity of the hypothesis.

Bibliographic note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Quantitative Linguistics on 24/11/2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09296174.2016.1260275