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Abstract

The aim of the present study is threefold: (a) to explore whether Greek adults, who are non-trained speakers and naïve to the purpose of the study, use distinguishable prosodic cues, while producing subject/object ambiguous sentences, (b) to examine whether the same participants use prosody as an important informative cue, morphosyntax aside, in order to decode such ambiguities and (c) to investigate the linking between comprehension and production and more specifically whether prosodic cues are employed by speakers in production to the same extent as they are by listeners in comprehension. For this purpose a production and an on-line comprehension task were conducted. Results revealed that prosodic cues were used to denote the subject or the object condition, but they were not consistently employed in order for the two to be differentiated. The prosodic patterns which were employed also allowed us to examine the predictions made by three psycholinguistic syntax-prosody mappings. The on-line comprehension task demonstrated that listeners were always sensitive to prosody, even though a preference for the object condition was revealed.

In: Journal of Greek Linguistics