You are here: Home Publications When correction turns positive: Processing corrective prosody in Dutch

When correction turns positive: Processing corrective prosody in Dutch

Dimitrova, D. V., Stowe, L. A., & Hoeks, J. C. (2015). When correction turns positive: Processing corrective prosody in Dutch. PLoS One, 10(5): e0126299. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0126299.
Current research on spoken language does not provide a consistent picture as to whether prosody, the melody and rhythm of speech, conveys a specific meaning. Perception studies show that English listeners assign meaning to prosodic patterns, and, for instance, associate some accents with contrast, whereas Dutch listeners behave more controversially. In two ERP studies we tested how Dutch listeners process words carrying two types of accents, which either provided new information (new information accents) or corrected information (corrective accents), both in single sentences (experiment 1) and after corrective and new information questions (experiment 2). In both experiments corrective accents elicited a sustained positivity as compared to new information accents, which started earlier in context than in single sentences. The positivity was not modulated by the nature of the preceding question, suggesting that the underlying neural mechanism likely reflects the construction of an interpretation to the accented word, either by identifying an alternative in context or by inferring it when no context is present. Our experimental results provide strong evidence for inferential processes related to prosodic contours in Dutch
About MPI

This is the MPI

The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics is an institute of the German Max Planck Society. Our mission is to undertake basic research into the psychological,social and biological foundations of language. The goal is to understand how our minds and brains process language, how language interacts with other aspects of mind, and how we can learn languages of quite different types.

The institute is situated on the campus of the Radboud University. We participate in the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, and have particularly close ties to that institute's Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging. We also participate in the Centre for Language Studies. A joint graduate school, the IMPRS in Language Sciences, links the Donders Institute, the CLS and the MPI.


Street address
Wundtlaan 1
6525 XD Nijmegen
The Netherlands

Mailing address
P.O. Box 310
6500 AH Nijmegen
The Netherlands

Phone:   +31-24-3521911
Fax:        +31-24-3521213

Public Outreach Officer
Charlotte Horn