Mariapaola D'Imperio

Mariapaola D'Imperio
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey | Rutgers · Linguistics & Center for Cognitive Science

Ph.D. in Linguistics, The Ohio State University

About

135
Publications
25,586
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2,311
Citations
Citations since 2017
25 Research Items
876 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
Introduction
Mariapaola D'Imperio currently works at the Linguistics Department of Rutgers University and does research in prosody and intonation, both from the production, the perception and the processing perspective. She currently works on online intonation perception and invidual personality traits. She is also affiliated with the the Rutgers Center for Cognitive Science (RuCCS).
Additional affiliations
October 2001 - October 2006
French National Centre for Scientific Research
Position
  • CR1
October 2001 - present
Aix-Marseille Université
Position
  • Researcher
August 1994 - September 1999
The Ohio State University
Position
  • Research Assistant

Publications

Publications (135)
Article
The paper investigates the relationship between exposure to non-native dialects or foreign languages and the extraction of pragmatic meaning from intonational cues, with specific reference to the identification of speaker certainty towards the answer in questions. While previous research on language exposure has been primarily concerned with the ph...
Article
Full-text available
Previous evidence suggests that children's mastery of prosodic modulations to signal the informational status of discourse referents emerges quite late in development. In the present study, we investigate the children's use of head gestures as it compares to prosodic cues to signal a referent as being contrastive relative to a set of possible alter...
Article
This work presents an analysis of the intonation competence in a group of Italian children with cochlear implant (CI). Early cochlear implantation plays a crucial role in language development for children who were born deaf in that it favours the acquisition of complex aspects of language, such as the intonation structure. A story-generation task,...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Previous research has shown that rhythmic head movement accompanies F0 modulations in speech (Munhall et al., 1994) and that this co-verbal head movement may be linked to prosodic features such as pitch accents and prosodic boundaries (Esteve-Gibert et al., 2017; Hadar et al., 1984; House et al., 2001). In this study, we examined how the production...
Poster
Full-text available
Rhythmic, co-verbal movement of the head always accompanies speech (Munhall et al., 1994). Previ- ous work on rhythmic head gestures (head-nods and eyebrow movements) during speech specifically focused on timing and motor organization. These studies suggested that co-verbal head movements are linked to the production of prosodic features of speech...
Article
No PDF available ABSTRACT The tendency for questions to be realized with a high or rising pitch has long been held as a (near-) universal property of world languages (Bolinger, 1978; Ohala, 1984, a.o) and even lead to ethological theories as the “Biological Codes,” in particular the “Frequency Code” (Gussenhoven, 2002). Rialland (2007,2009) documen...
Article
Full-text available
The paper investigates the interplay between intonational cues and individual variability in the perceptual assessment of speaker’s epistemic bias in Salerno Italian yes-no questions. We present a perception experiment in which we manipulated pitch span within the nuclear configuration (both nuclear accent and boundary tone) to predict degree of pe...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The paper addresses the issue of variability in the mapping between intonation and meaning in Salerno Italian. The general hypothesis tested is that variation of both the phonological and phonetic levels of intonation reflects speaker's commitment to the proposition expressed. Here we report an investigation of the intonational meaning in wh-questi...
Article
This study examines how individual pragmatic skills, and more specifically, empathy, influences language processing when a temporary lexical ambiguity can be resolved via intonation. We designed a visual-world eye-tracking experiment in which participants could anticipate a referent before disambiguating lexical information became available, by inf...
Article
Communicative exchanges require listeners to understand the pragmatic intentions behind the interlocutor’s speech acts, and our skills in inferring others’ social and pragmatic states seem to affect this linguistic understanding. By means of a visual-world eye-tracking task, this study aimed at investigating how individual empathy skills impact the...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The present study aims at uncovering the impact of dynamic details of intonational rises sharing the same tonal description but differing in the actual shape of the F0 contour. Two French rising final contours, both labelled as LH*H% in AM, are used to mark continuations or yes/no questions. The hypothesis tested here is that a perceptual differenc...
Poster
Full-text available
Two rising French contours, both labelled as H*H%, are used respectively as a continuation rise or a yes/no question terminal in French [1, 2, 3]. The two contours also differ in terms of duration, with continuation rises showing longer pre-boundary lengthening [4, 5] while H% height has not been found to be consistently higher in questions [3]. Mo...
Article
Full-text available
While many studies have demonstrated the relationship between musical rhythm and speech prosody, this has been rarely addressed in the context of second language (L2) acquisition. Here, we investigated whether musical rhythmic skills and the production of L2 speech prosody are predictive of one another. We tested both musical and linguistic rhythmi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
One of the main uses of intonation form is to signal pragmatic information. Recent research on intonational meaning has shown that epistemic information about propositional content of utterances within a discourse can also be tonally encoded. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether speaker certainty about the answer to a polar question...
Chapter
Full-text available
Despite the large number of studies on the intonation of Italian varieties, research on Salerno Italian has been rather scarce and a detailed account of the main phonological patterns is still missing. The intonation analysis we report in this paper is framed within the Autosegmental-Metrical theory and the types of utterances we analyzed are taken...
Poster
Full-text available
This work shows that different tune types can evoke different degrees of epistemic bias on the part of the listener towards the answer to the question being asked. Moreover, this bias is mediated by whether or not the subject lived in another city for more than a year. Finally, pitch accent type seems to be more important than boundary tone type in...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Cochlear implanted (CI) children display an array of speech production and perception problems. No study has evaluated the specific use of prosody regarding information structure in the discourse, in French speaking early CI children. This study aims to evaluate prosody production in these children, to determine whether they show prosodic effect...
Article
Full-text available
Based on growing evidence suggesting that professional music training facilitates foreign language perception and learning, we examined the impact of musical expertise on the categorization of syllables including phonemes that did (/p/, /b/) or did not (/ph/) belong to the French repertoire by analyzing both behavior (error rates and reaction times...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Based on the theory biological codes [1], the Frequency code [2] claims that pitch height is a universal correlate of politeness. Other frameworks, while taking a pragmatic approach, [3], [4] claim that high pitch can be employed in both polite and impolite contours and argue for the importance of socio-pragmatic variables in the expression of poli...
Poster
Full-text available
Speakers use different strategies in different languages to signal which element in the discourse is particularly informative for the interlocutor, a phenomenon called ‘information focus’. One of the most frequent strategies to achieve this across languages is by prosodic means. In French, for instance, speakers are found to compress the pitch rang...
Poster
Full-text available
This study investigates how pre-school French children make use of prosodic and gesture cues to produce sentences in broad focus and narrow (contrastive and corrective) focus conditions. Children’s ability to use prosody for signalling the information status of discourse elements is not mastered until late in development. English-, German-, or Dutc...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD) have to deal with several aspects of voice and speech decline and thus alteration of communication ability during the course of the disease. Among these communication impairments, three major challenges include: (1) dysarthria, consisting of orofacial motor dysfunction and dysprosody, which is linked to the...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD) have to deal with several aspects of voice and speech decline and thus alteration of communication ability during the course of the disease. Among these communication impairments, 3 major challenges include: (1) dysarthria, consisting of orofacial motor dysfunction and dysprosody, which is link...
Poster
Full-text available
The pragmatic meaning evoked by intonation is known to be processed online by listeners, but less is understood about which part of the contour triggers the meaning interpretation and how individual pragmatic abilities impact intonational processing. Here we investigate the role of empathy skills on the stability and timing of the intonation-meanin...
Article
This study addresses the relationship between information structure and intonation in French. Using an interactive speech production experiment, it tests the hypothesis that the French initial rise (LHi) is used to mark the left edge of a contrastively focused constituent. Since the occurrence of the initial rise is also known to be sensitive to th...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Listeners rapidly process tonal composition and pitch accent placement within an utterance to create expectations about its pragmatic meaning and information structure. It is still unknown whether the nuclear pitch accent alone or a combination of pitch accent and the following edge tone are needed in order to process intonational meaning in French...
Article
Full-text available
On the basis of previous results showing that music training positively influences different aspects of speech perception and cognition, the aim of this series of experiments was to test the hypothesis that adult professional musicians would learn the meaning of novel words through picture-word associations more efficiently than controls without mu...
Poster
Full-text available
Analysis and description of Italian children’s prosody for narrative speech in an Autosegmental-Metrical framework.
Article
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Cet article a pour objectif d’expliciter le lien direct qui existe entre les travaux en prosodie menes aujourd’hui a Aix-en-Provence et les travaux qui ont ete conduits depuis les annees 70 par ce que l’on appelait alors « l’Ecole d’Aix en Prosodie ». Ce lien sera etabli au moyen de trois notions principales : les notions de cible tonale, de consti...
Book
This special collection consists of papers inspired by topics covered in two different workshops addressing the challenge of prosodic transcription for research in spoken language sciences and for the development of computer speech technologies. At the heart of this collection are discussions of the phonological assumptions behind current approache...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this paper we present evidence for the phonetic coding of the statement/ question contrast through differences in durational patterns. Data from a reading task in Neapolitan Italian were analyzed using both discrete (phone durations) and continuous (local phone rate) metrics. In the first part we show that, while global utterance duration does n...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Prosodic prominence is an umbrella term encompassing various related but conceptually and functionally different phenomena such as phonological stress, paralinguistic emphasis, lexical, syntactic, semantic or pragmatic salience, to mention a few. Due to the high interest prominence has received from various disciplines, it has been studied from mul...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Speakers are able to adjust their prosodic patterns to approximate those of a different dialect, at least when the dialects involved are phonologically similar [6, 7]. Our study explores imitation across two dialects of English (Singaporean and American) whose prosodic systems are phonologically very distinct. Singaporean speakers were recorded bot...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In Neapolitan Italian, nuclear rises are later in yes/no questions (L*+H) than in narrow focus statements (L+H*). Also, the H target is later in closed syllable items than in open syllable ones. In three identification tasks, we found that, when stimuli are ambiguous between questions and statements, listeners exploit the information on the precise...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Recent studies have investigated phonetic and phonological direct dialect imitation in intonation, though no study has yet explored metrical convergence. In this study we therefore test the assumption that speakers of standard French can mimic the metrical properties of a Southern French variety, having a different foot structure, by inserting a sc...
Chapter
he chapters all share a common methodology, based on a common Discourse Completion Task questionnaire, and provide extensive empirical data. The authors then analyse how intonation patterns work together with other grammatical means such as syntactic constructions and discourse particles in the linguistic marking of a varied set of sentence types a...
Article
Full-text available
This study tests how prosodic boundary strength (i.e., categorical differences between Accentual Phrase, AP, and intermediate phrase, ip, boundaries) per se affects the syntactic parsing of spoken utterances in French. Two forced-choice perception experiments demonstrated that French listeners use prosodic boundary strength (either AP or ip boundar...
Book
The Italian language is characterized by an extremely strong phonetic and phonological variation that differentiates the language across space, communicative situations, social groups and socio-economic classes, and means of communication (Berruto 2010, 2012). In this chapter, we consider the phonetic and phonological variation at the intonational...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study was to test whether both phonetic and phonological representations of intonation can be rapidly modified when imitating utterances belonging to a different regional variety of the same language. Our main hypothesis was that tonal alignment, just as other phonetic features of speech, would be rapidly modified by Italian speaker...
Article
Full-text available
Within the autosegmental-metrical approach to French intonation, the existence of an intermediate phrase or ip is controversial. Our study provides strong evidence for its existence, by uncovering systematic pitch-scaling effects within this constituent. We first show that the presence of an ip-break is responsible for blocking recursive downstep o...
Article
The distribution of preboundary lengthening within the phrasefinal word is controversial. In CV syllables immediately preceding a prosodic boundary, the acoustic duration of the syllable onset C is less involved than that of the following rime V in the lengthening phenomenon. Moreover, preboundary lengthening might be extended to the stressed/accen...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper introduces the Aix MapTask corpus. This corpus was modelled after the original HCRC Maptask. Lexical mate-rial selection has been carefully crafted for speech and prosodic analysis [1]. We present the design of the lexical material, the protocol and basic quantitative facts about the existing corpus. We also describe an additional face-t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Verbal irony is characterized by the use of specific acoustic modulations, especially global prosodic cues as well as vowel hyperarticulation. Little is known concerning the expression of sarcastic speech in French. Here we report on global prosodic features of sarcastic speech in a corpus of declarative French utterances. Our data show that sarcas...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we will compare prosodic and pragmatic approaches to the role of constituent length in attachment ambiguities. Lengthening a constituent affects its informativity: longer constituents are usually less predictable (Levy & Florian, 2007) and demand a higher processing load than shorter ones (Almor, 1999). Following neo-Gricean accounts...
Article
Full-text available
Phonological models of intonation use abstract categories, such as pitch accents, to build a bridge between continuous modulations in f0 contours (on the substantial side) and post-lexical meaning (on the functional side). However, recent research on romance, Germanic and non-Indoeuropean languages shows that sentence modality contrasts (i.e. quest...
Article
Full-text available
Though two levels of phrasing are generally accepted for French, a large degree of intra-speaker variability in the amount of preboundary lengthening is generally found within the lowest level (the Accentual Phrase or AP). A question that still remains to be answered is whether this source of variability is merely due to speech rate fluctuations or...
Chapter
Full-text available
This article presents the nature and the implementation of prosodic representations. The prosodic structure is considered to be fundamentally different from the morphosyntactic structure in that it is crucially flatter. The work on the prosodic phrasing of European Portuguese (EP) has provided similar data to that reported for Korean. EP has been s...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study addresses the question of the separate contribution of tonal and duration cues in prosodic boundary marking and their effect in syntactic parsing in French. We used pairs of Noun Phrases whose segmental structure was identical but differing in the potential placement of an Accentual Phrase (AP) or Intermediate Phrase (ip) boundary at the...
Chapter
Full-text available
Much recent work on German and English intonation has addressed the impact of information structure on prosodic patterns in terms of the focus/background partition. In contrast with stress-accent languages such as Italian, Spanish or English, French does not appear to signal focus through pitch accent assignment, rather it appears to mainly exploit...
Article
Full-text available
A basic constituent of French intonation is the Accentual Phrase (AP), which includes two distinct tonal events: a final LH* accentual rise and an initial LHi rise. A previous study had shown a difference between the rising movements according to the the position of the AP within the intonational phrase (IP): prenuclear (P, IP-initial) versus nucle...
Chapter
Full-text available
Much recent work on German and English intonation has addressed the impact of information structure on prosodic patterns in terms of the focus/background partition. In contrast with stress-accent languages such as Italian, Spanish or English, French does not appear to signal focus through pitch accent assignment, rather it appears to mainly exploit...
Chapter
Full-text available
Most research on tune meaning has focussed on the contribution of the nuclear configuration (composed of nuclear accent, phrase accent and boundary tone), while the meaning contribution of the prenuclear contour (i.e., the intonational region preceding the nuclear accent) is still understudied. In Neapolitan Italian, differences in early (L+H*) vs....
Conference Paper
Full-text available
One of the most studied phonetic dimensions differentiating pitch accent categories is tonal alignment. However, when acoustic alignment data are broken down by individual patterns, one can notice great differences both in the size of the contrast as well as in the dispersion of the temporal values. Moreover, speakers appear to compensate for weake...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study tested whether an Intermediate Phrase (ip) right boundary is interpreted by French listeners as cueing a major syntactic break (e.g. NounPhrase/Verb Phrase break) or also a weaker syntactic break (e.g. Noun Phrase internal boundary). Pairs of Noun Phrases, whose segmental structure was identical up to the sixth syllable, but differing in...
Chapter
Full-text available
In the last 20-30 years, there have been numerous arguments from cognition, linguistics, and technology for assuming that the words, on one side, and the tonal specification of an utterance, on the other side, are stored and created independently of each other (Liberman 1978, Goldsmith 1979, Pierrehumbert 1980; see Ladd 2008 for a synthesis of the...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this paper, we analyze data from Neapolitan Italian showing that register subordination within a prosodic phrase is function of information structure. Specifically, we hypothesized that in an SN VP structure, the register level of the separately phrased VP would be lowered when it is coextensive with a focus constituent immediately following a p...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Within the autosegmental-metrical theory of intonation, there is only weak evidence for the existence of the intermediate phrase (ip) for French. Our proposal is that the emergence of an intermediate prosodic level is not merely linked to a specific focus or marked syntactic structure, while predicting that an alignment constraint (ALING-XP,R; ip,R...