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Revista Brasileira de Linguística Aplicada

On-line version ISSN 1984-6398


MONEGLIA, Massimo. Spoken corpora and pragmatics. Rev. bras. linguist. apl. [online]. 2011, vol.11, n.2, pp.479-519. ISSN 1984-6398.

The goal of this paper is to present arguments in favour of two points related to the study of oral corpora and pragmatics: a) at the level of annotation, corpora must ensure the parsing of the speech flow into utterances on the basis of prosodic cues and provide an easy access to the acoustic source; b) at the level of sampling, corpora must ensure the maximum representation of context variation, rather than speaker variation. We will present the reasons which support the very basic prosodic annotation of speech (prosodic boundaries) as a means to obtain relevant data from the speech flow. Starting from our present knowledge about the distribution of speech acts types in spoken corpora, we will present the reasons why building corpora in accordance to a context variation strategy should expand our knowledge of pragmatics. Additionally, we will claim that prosody is the necessary interface between locutive and illocutive acts and we will show that a deeper prosodic analysis is necessary to grasp unknown speech act types from language usage. Finally, we will briefly sketch the main assumptions of the Language into Act Theory (CRESTI, 2000) which is dedicated to the link between prosody and pragmatics and helps make explicit core aspects of pragmatic knowledge.

Keywords : oral corpora; pragmatics; annotation; sampling; speech act types; prosody; Language into Act Theory.

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