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The relation between prosodic and referential structure

Workshop organized as part of the Annual Conference of the German Linguistic Society (DGfS) to be held at the University of Stuttgart, Germany, March 7-9, 2018.

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Stefan Baumann, Klaus von Heusinger
& Petra B. Schumacher; University of Cologne.

Invited Speakers:
Jennifer Arnold (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
Jennifer Cole (Northwestern University)

Aims and background:
Prosodic structure (of spoken language) contributes together with syntactic, morphological and lexical material to the referential structure of phrases, sentences and discourses. Research on prosodic and referential structure has mainly focused on the linguistic cues speakers use to mark the discourse status of a referring expression (cf. Arnold 2010). We would like to broaden this view to different levels of interaction between prosodic and referential structure and address the following questions: (i) Which aspects determine the prosodic setup of referring expressions? (ii) What is the influence of the prosodic structure on the semantics of sentences? (iii) To what extent do we rely on prosodic information to understand discourse structure?