English reverse prosody in yes-no responses
Daniel Goodhue, James Pickett, Michael Wagner
November 2013

In English, polar particles yes and no are ambiguous when used to respond to negative declaratives and interrogatives. This paper reports on a production experiment that elicited the intonation contours speakers use when responding to negative declaratives. We found that speakers most frequently use the contradiction contour when reversing, and they use declarative intonation when confirming, regardless of the particular polar particle used. Therefore prosody could disambiguate what is an otherwise ambiguous move in a dialogue.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/002865
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Raquel Fernández & Amy Isard (eds.), 2013. Proceedings of Sem Dial 2013: The 17th Workshop on the Semantics and Pragmatics of Dialogue at the University of Amsterdam (DialDam).
keywords: yes, no, polar particles, intonation, contradiction contour, semantics, phonology
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