Phonetic aspects of polar questions in Sienese

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This study provides empirical evidence for the monoclausal status of a specificpolar interrogative construction in Sienese, an Italian dialect spoken in Tuscany.At first sight, this question type looks like a biclausal discourse including twoseparate questions. There is however considerable syntactic evidence in favorof a monoclausal analysis. A production experiment was conducted to find outwhether any correlations can be established between the underlying syntacticstructure and the phonetic realization of polar questions in Sienese. The resultsindicate that these structures systematically correlate with distinctive prosodicproperties that unambiguously establish their monoclausal status. This contributionshows how experimental approaches may be used as a powerful tool fortesting syntactic hypotheses.


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