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Intonation Units and the Structure of Spontaneous Spoken Language: A View from Hebrew

By Shlomo Izre&apos


This paper stems from the initial phases of a research project whose primary goal is the search for a meaningful structural unit of analysis for the study of spoken Hebrew. The end product will include a preliminary analysis of the basic structural units of spontaneous Hebrew in segmental and suprasegmental terms. The working hypothesis for this research is that the Intonation Unit (IU) encapsulates the basic structural unit of the spoken language, with IU Complex (or Utterance) as a higher unit in the hierarchy. In this framework, I will strive to validate or refute accepted, traditional concepts used in the study of spontaneous spoken Hebrew. Preliminary observations of spontaneous spoken Hebrew suggest that neither the clause nor predication carry such basic importance as they do in the analysis of the written language. Therefore, I will check the validity of terms and concepts like sentence, clause, subject and predicate, verbal and non-verbal predication for the syntactic and information-structure analysis of spoken Hebrew. In this paper, I present my working hypothesis, some methodological matters, and preliminary observations

Year: 2005
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