Wednesday, April 12, 2006

No politics more research (paca)

I've been re-reading my last political entry and coming to the conclusion that I don't have much to say that is of interest on politics, so I am going to try swearing off for a while. There are enough other people to say that stuff. In other news, I am giving a lecture to my department next Tuesday, so one week from now, on the research that I have been doing. I just wrote up the Abstract for it which will now be sent out to the whole department for advertizing purposes. I know it will mean little to all of you. It means little to most linguists that aren't in my exact field, but I thought it worth posting nevertheless, in case anyone wonders what I get up to when not blogging. Here is the Title and Abstract:

Pitch Accents, Recursion, and the Construction of Local Discourse

Previous work on the intonational structure of discourse has focused mostly on the phonological or phonetic expression of global discourse segment boundaries, as well as overall affective features of different styles of discourse. The major exception to this generalization is the study of boundary tones and between Intonational Phrase pauses, which serve to connect and separate the phrases in a serial manner. The current project continues this latter work and looks at the intonational structure of local discourse, that is the relations between proximate Intonational Phrases, typically within one discourse segment. Through the analysis of American English political speech, some new cues for the structure of discourse are identified. These cues include the repetition of intonational melody to ease processing, the use of deaccented phrases to close a grouping, and parallel and dominating pitch realization on nuclear pitch accents across Intonational Phrases. The pattern of nuclear pitch accent phonetic realization in particular can be used to build elaborate hierarchical discourse structures of a recursive nature. This recursiveness in intonational phonology would seem to be in opposition to the common theoretical assumption of strict layering, which, among other things, explicitly forbids phonological recursion. This will lead to a discussion of the relations between stress, rhythm, intonation, and grouping, and it is proposed that this recursiveness is not part of the normal metrical stress patterns of speech, out of which the Strict Layer Hypothesis grew, but instead a form of cohesion or generalized anaphora. The result is that even though the patterns identified are highly recursive, they are not necessarily in opposition to previous layering proposals.


kristybox said...

I like your political discourse, but tend to agree a little too much to make any interesting comments.

As far as your abstract, I'm not smart enough to understand it. And that's even with my 4 college degrees, oone of which is terminal.

Sammy Jankis said...

Oh, Paca! For that you traded your everlastin' soul?!

I don't know what any of that meant. I only have 3 degrees and none are terminal.