Prosody and spoken-word recognition
McQueen, J. M., & Dilley, L. C.
Prosody and spoken-word recognition. In C. Gussenhoven, & A. Chen (Eds.
), The Oxford handbook of language prosody
(pp. 509-521). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
This chapter outlines a Bayesian model of spoken-word recognition and reviews how
prosody is part of that model. The review focuses on the information that assists the lis
tener in recognizing the prosodic structure of an utterance and on how spoken-word
recognition is also constrained by prior knowledge about prosodic structure. Recognition
is argued to be a process of perceptual inference that ensures that listening is robust to
variability in the speech signal. In essence, the listener makes inferences about the seg
mental content of each utterance, about its prosodic structure (simultaneously at differ
ent levels in the prosodic hierarchy), and about the words it contains, and uses these in
ferences to form an utterance interpretation. Four characteristics of the proposed
prosody-enriched recognition model are discussed: parallel uptake of different informa
tion types, high contextual dependency, adaptive processing, and phonological abstrac
tion. The next steps that should be taken to develop the model are also discussed.
Share this page