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Poster E45, Friday, November 10, 10:00 – 11:15 am, Harborview and Loch Raven Ballrooms

When the expressive prosody meets word predictions in spoken-language comprehension

Angèle Brunellière1, Laurence Delrue2;1Univ. Lille, CNRS, UMR 9193 - SCALab - Sciences Cognitives et Sciences Affectives, F-59000 Lille, France, 2Univ. Lille, CNRS, UMR 8163 - STL - Savoirs Textes Langage, F-59000 Lille, France

Over the last decade, there has been an increase of interest in predictive mechanisms in spoken-language comprehension using different methods, electrophysiological recording and visual world eye-tracking (Huettig, 2015; Kutas, DeLong, & Smith, 2011). Whereas experimental evidence is accumulated for on-line word predictions from semantically and syntactically constraining sentence contexts, much less research in the language domain has explored the influence of the expressive prosody in spoken-language comprehension. The goal of the present study is to examine whether generating predictive mechanisms can depend on the degree of expressivity of interlocutors. According to the intention and the motivation of speakers to share a message and convince listeners, particular words are produced with emphasis in realistic speech, increasing the salience of particular words relative to others and indicating their relevance towards the content of the discourse message. To achieve this goal, we will conduct an event-related potential (ERP) study during the listening of semantically constraining sentences predicting a target word. French-speaking participants were exposed to spoken, semantically constraining, French sentences followed by an article that could be either in agreement or in disagreement with the gender of the expected, yet not presented, word. In this experiment, we manipulated the degree of expressivity conveyed by the interlocutor and the gender of expected article. The processing of articles triggered a negative response around 200 ms followed by a P300 wave. Interestingly, the amplitude of these two ERP components was stronger for the trials with expressive prosody relative to those with neutral prosody. While the negative response reflected the degree of match between the on-line word predictions from the sentence context and the presented article, this effect of word predictions did not interact with the degree of expressivity. Taken together, this suggests that the processing of expressive prosody does not interfere with on-line word predictions. The findings will be discussed in the light of a predictive coding framework.

Topic Area: Meaning: Prosody, Social and Emotional Processes

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