Definitely indefinites? Using acoustics as a diagnostic in st'át'imcets
Keywords:Forecasting, Sawing, Acoustic
AbstractA study was carried out to test the hypothesis, which stated that St'a´t'imcets (Lillooet Salish) speakers, such as German speakers, will use prosody to distinguish between WH ('who saw whom') and indefinite readings of the WH ('who saw someone') phrases. If WH phrases in multiple WH questions are ambiguous between two readings, it is predicted that there will be an acoustic distinction between WH reading and the indefinite reading. If they are unambiguously indefinites, it is predicted that there are no acoustic distinctions. The results of the investigation support the hypothesis that St'a´t'imcets WH phrases are unambiguously indefinites. Speakers did not distinguish between them in embedded questions, and the differences found in matrix questions can be seen as a factor of methodological/metalinguistic complications.
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