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Hierarchical constituency in conversational language: The case of Cirebon Javanese

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This study investigates the role of constituency in structuring clauses during spoken interaction. It examines transitive clauses in a corpus of conversational Javanese. Do clauses unfold in a flat structure as each element is produced in real-time, or is there evidence of a hierarchical structure among constituents? By looking at adjacency in the production of clausal elements, with prosody as the key to understanding how speakers organize linguistic elements into larger groups, evidence is found for the emergence of a verb phase structure within clauses of lower discourse transitivity, but a lack of hierarchical structure in clauses of higher discourse transitivity.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: The University of Melbourne

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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  • International Journal sponsored by the Foundation "Foundations of Language"

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