Kang, Sun-mi and Kong, Eun-jong. 2018. Perceptual Utilization of Prosodic Cues in Processing English Sentences with Semantic Biases. English Language and
Linguistics 24.1, 57-77. This study explored the perceptual sensitivity to the prosodic and semantic cues in disambiguating the structurally ambiguous sentences by English native speakers and Korean learners of English. The cross-modal task was conducted to investigate whether/how the two groups of listeners utilized the prosodic information (i.e., boundary tones) when the semantic biases (i.e., subjectand object-bias) resolved structural ambiguity. The results showed that the native speakers reacted sensitively to both the semantic and the prosodic cues while the Korean learners of English were only sensitive to the semantic information. The current findings suggest that the speakers with limited control of the language are poor at utilizing redundant phonetic information faced with resolving linguistic ambiguity.
Key words: ambiguity, prosodic cues, semantic information, cross-modal task