Keywords:Prosody, Syntax, Discourse Analysis, Ponctuation
The problem of a possible correspondence between punctuation and prosody is a long-standing one and has not been solved yet. To put it simply, we can say that, on the one side, grammars claim that there is a correspondence; on the other side, essays express an opposite point of view, claiming that punctuation is for the eye, not for the ear. Through an empirical investigation, I will show that in the case of the period a regular relation may be found, because the period always corresponds to a terminal prosodic break. This happens not only when the period corresponds to a syntactic boundary (the end of a sentence), but also when the period interrupts a syntactic unit; the latter behavior shows that, at least in the case of the period, punctuation prevails over syntax in text segmentation. I will also show that terminal prosodic breaks may occur with a comma, and that this phenomenon can be fully explained in a textual-communicative framework.
Cresti, E. 2000. Corpus di italiano parlato (2 voll.). Firenze: Accademia della Crusca.
Cresti, E. & Moneglia, M. (eds) 2005. C-ORAL-ROM. Integrated Reference Corpora for Spo-ken Romance Languages. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
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Autore et al. 2008