Why Prosody Matters: Surface Scope Bias in Russian Quantifier Scope

Svitlana Antonyuk-Yudina

Abstract


I present the results of a production experiment on the prosodic realization of doubly quantified sentences in Russian that tested the hypothesis (due to Kitagawa and Fodor 2003, Hirotani 2004) that native speakers (tacitly) impose surface scope-biasing prosody. If correct, the hypothesis could account for the rigid surface scope claims found in the literature. Target sentences were excised from contexts, evaluated for the degree of disambiguation and analized within the autosegmental-metrical framework (Pierrehumbert 1980). The results of our experiment support the main hypothesis, strongly suggesting that Russian prosody needs to be strictly controled for when eliciting quantifier scope judgements.

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