From communicative functions to prosodic forms

This is a proposal in favour of proceeding from communicative function to linguistic form, rather than the reverse, for an insightful account of how humans communicate by speech in languages. A functional framework is developed that encompasses argumentation structures, declarative and interrogative functions, and expressive intensification. Such a function orientation can become a powerful tool in comparative prosodic research across the world's languages. The potential of this approach is shown by comparing the prosodic form of Mandarin Chinese data collected in functionally contextualized scenarios with corresponding data from English and German.



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