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IS SENTENCE VIABLE? The 3 rd International Conference on Cognitive Science Moscow, June 21, IS SENTENCE VIABLE? The 3 rd International Conference on Cognitive Science Moscow, June 21, 2008 Andrej A. Kibrik (kibrik@comtv. ru) Vera I. Podlesskaya (podlesskaya@ocrus. ru ) 1

Does spoken language consist of sentences? § Sheer facts: § Spoken language is the Does spoken language consist of sentences? § Sheer facts: § Spoken language is the primary form of language § Spoken language does not contain periods, question marks and other explicit signals of sentence boundaries § Research question: § Is sentence, as a theoretical construct, as identifiable and as basic for the primary form of language as it is (or as it is thought to be) for written language? 2

Sentence in spoken language § § Position 1: sentence is a universal and basic Sentence in spoken language § § Position 1: sentence is a universal and basic unit of language § Assumption typically held by not only by linguists but also by other cognitive scientists § “With no more than 50 to 100 K words humans can create and understand an infinite number of sentences” (Bernstein et al. 1994: 349 -350) § Psycholinguistics: “Sentence processing” § But sentence is very far from being obvious in spoken language Position 2: avoidance of the issue, typical of discourseoriented linguists § If so, how could sentences become so much entrenched in written language? 3

Night Dream Stories § Corpus of spoken Russian stories § Speakers: children and adolescents Night Dream Stories § Corpus of spoken Russian stories § Speakers: children and adolescents § Subject matter: retelling of night dreams § Discourse type: monologic narrative (personal stories) § Speech act type: declaratives 4

Two basic features of spoken discourse § Segmentation § Transitional continuity 5 Two basic features of spoken discourse § Segmentation § Transitional continuity 5

Segmentation § Elementary discourse units (EDUs) § Identified on the basis of a conjunction Segmentation § Elementary discourse units (EDUs) § Identified on the basis of a conjunction of prosodic criteria: § § § Tempo pattern Loudness pattern Integral tonal contour Presence of an accentual center Pausing pattern § Speakers tend to organize EDUs as clausal units 6

Example of segmentation Z 54 /мы с= || ехали на автобусеw. /my s= || Example of segmentation Z 54 /мы с= || ехали на автобусеw. /my s= || exali na avtobusew. We rode on bus Discourse transcription . . . (0. 6) /Я /первая села в автобус. . (0. 6) /Ja /pervaja sela v avtobus. I first got on bus. . (0. 4) А A And /тогда /togda then уже uže already д= ||. . (0. 2) d= . . (0. 1) и i and /’Аня /Anja не ne not –успела –uspela managed закрывались zakryvalis’ were. closing двери, dveri, doors сесть. sest’. get. in . . . (0. 7) Иw мм(0. 4) /когда-а. . (0. 2) ’’(0. 3). . (0. 4) {ЧМОКАНЬЕ 0. 2}. . (0. 4) когда я приехала на нашу /остановку’, . . . (0. 7) IW mm(0. 4) /kogda-a. . (0. 2) ’’(0. 3). . (0. 4) {SMACKING 0. 2}. . (0. 4) kogda ja priexala na našu /ostanovku’, And when I arrived to our station 7

Transitional continuity § Term by J. Du. Bois et al. 1992 § Alternative term Transitional continuity § Term by J. Du. Bois et al. 1992 § Alternative term by Sandro V. Kodzasov: phase § Discourse semantic category: ‘end’ vs. ‘non-end’ § § § (=expectation of a forthcoming end) Hierarchical nature of phase End of tentative sentence – falling tonal accent Non-end – rising tonal accent 8

A canonical example of the transitional continuity distinction z 57: 15 -16 § § A canonical example of the transitional continuity distinction z 57: 15 -16 § § . . (0. 4) /Мы-ы’. . (0. 4) как бы за них /взя-ались, . . (0. 4) /My-y’. . (0. 4) kak by za nix /vzja-alis’, We sort of at them Rising (“comma”) Ø got. hold ØNon-end . . . (0. 5) и-и ввь= ||. . (0. 2) полетели вве-ерх. . (0. 5) i-i vv’= ||. . (0. 2) poleteli vve-erx. and flew upward ØFalling (“period”) ØEnd § If things were that easy, sentence would be uncontroversial 9

Uncanonical situation: Non-end with a falling tonal accent § . . (1. 5) то, Uncanonical situation: Non-end with a falling tonal accent § . . (1. 5) то, /Озеро. . . (0. 5) § . . (0. 3) (Или § или какое- /озеро, § но § потому что’. . (0. 2). . . (0. 6) § . . (1. 0) /него по-моему § озеро, как-то-оw маленькое такое, ’и-иh. . . (0. 7) через § § § небольшое. ) § /речка, § . . (0. 3) как-то бревно какое-то, § § . . (1. 5) to, . . (0. 3) (Ili /Ozero. . . (0. 5) Lake some /rečka, river kakoe- Either ili /ozero, or lake no po-moemu ozero, but I guess lake potomu čto’. . (0. 2) kak-to-o. W because somehow. . . (0. 6) malen’koe takoe, small such nebol’šoe. ) minor 10. . (1. 0) ’i-i. H. . . (0. 7) čerez /nego and

The problem of two kinds of falling § The existence of non-final falling may The problem of two kinds of falling § The existence of non-final falling may call relevance of sentence into question § However, the distinction between two kinds of falling is very systematic § The two kinds of falling: § are prosodically distinct § have distinct discourse functions 11

Prosodic criteria of the final vs. non-final falling distinction § Primary criteria: 1. Target Prosodic criteria of the final vs. non-final falling distinction § Primary criteria: 1. Target frequency band 2. Post-accent behavior 12

Criterion 1: Target frequency band § Final falling (“period”): targets at the bottom of Criterion 1: Target frequency band § Final falling (“period”): targets at the bottom of the speaker’s F 0 range § Non-final falling (“faling comma”): targets at level several dozen Hz (several semitones) higher 13

F 0 graph for the “lake” example 12 10 12 8 5 ozero, malen’koe F 0 graph for the “lake” example 12 10 12 8 5 ozero, malen’koe nebol’ takoe, šoe. brevno kakoe mosta. -to, 14

Non-final falling (210 Гц), final falling (170 Гц), rising, post-rising falling Z 54: 4 Non-final falling (210 Гц), final falling (170 Гц), rising, post-rising falling Z 54: 4 -5 170 Hz 210 Hz. . (0. 4) А A And /тогда /togda then уже uže already д= ||. . (0. 2) d= . . (0. 1) и i and /’Аня /Anja не ne not –успела –uspela managed закрывались zakryvalis’ were. closing двери, dveri, doors сесть. sest’. get. in . . . (0. 7) Иw мм(0. 4) /когда-а. . (0. 2) ’’(0. 3). . (0. 4) {ЧМОКАНЬЕ 0. 2}. . (0. 4) когда я приехала на нашу /остановку’, . . . (0. 7) IW mm(0. 4) /kogda-a. . (0. 2) ’’(0. 3). . (0. 4) {SMACKING 0. 2}. . (0. 4) kogda ja priexala na našu /ostanovku’, 15 And when I arrived to our station

Criterion 2: Post-accent behavior § Final falling (“period”): steady falling on the post-accent syllables Criterion 2: Post-accent behavior § Final falling (“period”): steady falling on the post-accent syllables § Non-final falling (“comma”): lack of falling on post-accent syllables, often rise of tone (V-curve) 16

V-curve z 26 260 Hz 240 Hz. . (5. 7) /Домик. . . (0. V-curve z 26 260 Hz 240 Hz. . (5. 7) /Домик. . . (0. 6) был /около реч↑ки, . . (5. 7) /Domik. . . (0. 6) byl /okolo reč↑ki, Little. house was near creek 235 Hz . . (3. 3) /рядом были –родник-ки, . . (3. 3) /rjadom byli –rodnik-ki, nearby were springs. . (0. 4) и –ле-ес. . . (0. 4) i –le-es. and forest 17

Secondary criteria 3. 4. 5. 6. Pausing pattern Reset vs. latching Steepness of falling Secondary criteria 3. 4. 5. 6. Pausing pattern Reset vs. latching Steepness of falling Interval of falling 18

The final vs. non-final falling distinction § A speaker’s prosodic pattern must be identified The final vs. non-final falling distinction § A speaker’s prosodic pattern must be identified § On its basis the difference between final and non-final falling distinction can be identified with a high degree of robustness 19

Contexts of non-final falling § Anticipatory mirror-image adaptation § Inset § Stepwise falling 20 Contexts of non-final falling § Anticipatory mirror-image adaptation § Inset § Stepwise falling 20

Anticipatory mirror-image adaptation §. . (1. 8) Когда Kogda when §. . . (0. Anticipatory mirror-image adaptation §. . (1. 8) Когда Kogda when §. . . (0. 5) что-о čto-o that я услышала, ja uslyšala, I heard /бомба гремит, /bomba gremit, bomb growls 21

Inset § /Входит § /Vxodit enters ’ ’. . (0. 1) §. . (0. Inset § /Входит § /Vxodit enters ’ ’. . (0. 1) §. . (0. 1) и i and это. . . (0. 5) /ма-аль↑чик, èto. . . (0. 5) /ma-al’↑čik, here boy /ну к другому, /nu k drugomu, well to another говорит: govorit: says 22

Stepwise falling § . . (1. 5) то, /Озеро. . . (0. 5) § Stepwise falling § . . (1. 5) то, /Озеро. . . (0. 5) § . . (0. 3) (Или § или какое- /озеро, § но § потому что’. . (0. 2). . . (0. 6) § /речка, по-моему § озеро, как-то-оw маленькое § такое, § § § небольшое. ) § . . (1. 5) to, . . (0. 3) (Ili /Ozero. . . (0. 5) kakoe- Lake some /rečka, river 210 Hz Either ili /ozero, or lake no po-moemu ozero, but I guess lake potomu čto’. . (0. 2) kak-to-o. W because 190 Hz somehow. . . (0. 6) malen’koe takoe, 160 Hz small such nebol’šoe. ) minor 23

Representation of EDU continuity types in corpus 24 Representation of EDU continuity types in corpus 24

The status of sentence § In the speech of most speakers final falling is The status of sentence § In the speech of most speakers final falling is § § § clearly distinct from non-final patterns Final intonation, expressly distinct from non-final intonation (both rising and falling), makes the notion of sentence valid for spoken discourse Speakers “know” when they complete a sentence and when they do not Apparently, spoken sentences are the prototype of written sentences 25

Functions of sentences § Ease the processing by creating intermediate informational chunks § Chafe: Functions of sentences § Ease the processing by creating intermediate informational chunks § Chafe: superfoci of consciousness 26

However § § § Identification of sentences is possible only on the basis of However § § § Identification of sentences is possible only on the basis of a complex analytic procedure It is dependent on prior understanding of a speaker’s prosodic “portrait” There are prototypes of final and non-final fallings, but there are intermediate instances, therefore sentencehood may be a matter of degree A significant tune-up is necessary to apply the procedure to a different discourse type or a different language Therefore, sentence is an elusive, intermediate, nonbasic unit of language 27

EDUs vs. sentences: degree of variability EDUs: distribution in terms of number of words EDUs vs. sentences: degree of variability EDUs: distribution in terms of number of words Sentences: distribution in terms of number of EDUs 53% – 3± 1 80% – 3± 2 28

EDUs vs. sentences: degree of variability § Unlike EDUs, sentences are highly variable § EDUs vs. sentences: degree of variability § Unlike EDUs, sentences are highly variable § Speakers with short sentences § Speakers with long sentences equaling stories § Clause chaining 29

Conclusions § Sentence is an intermediate hierarchical grouping between a whole discourse and an Conclusions § Sentence is an intermediate hierarchical grouping between a whole discourse and an EDU (roughly, clause) § Sentence is very far away from being a basic unit of spoken language 30

Acknowledgement Member of our project Nikolay Korotaev 31 Acknowledgement Member of our project Nikolay Korotaev 31