Volume 18, Issue 4
  • ISSN 1384-6655
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9811
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This article examines the distribution of the nucleus around selected formulaic expressions in the IBM/Lancaster Spoken English Corpus (SEC). The study reveals the presence of a positional bias such that formulaic expressions found at the end of intonation units are more likely to receive the nucleus than those found at the beginning. Amongst the formulaic expressions located at the end of intonation units, 70 percent have the nucleus assigned to the last lexical word of the expressions. For the remaining cases, the obligatory nuclei are found either on the lexical words immediately preceding the expressions or on the first words, the degree words or the flexible slots within the expressions. The study shows how prosodically annotated corpora may facilitate research on the prosody of formulaic expressions. At the same time, it also raises awareness of the issues confronting this new research avenue.


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