SUDO Michiko Juntendo University, Department of Sports & Health Science, Associate Professor, スポーツ健康科学部, 助教授 (60226587)
OKADA Mitsuhiro Keio University, Faculty of Letter, Professor, 文学部, 教授 (30224025)
|Budget Amount *help
¥2,200,000 (Direct Cost : ¥2,200,000)
Fiscal Year 1997 : ¥1,100,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,100,000)
Fiscal Year 1996 : ¥1,100,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,100,000)
In this research we have considered the problem of how to comprehend utterances in a concrete discourse. We have been particularly concerned with the interrogative form of Japanese sentences, which is characterized by a sentence-final particle, "ka". It is well known that a same interrogative form of expression could be interpreted in various different ways, depending on the different contextual setting of discourse. As Itani (1996) suggested, an interrogative sentence like "Hanako gakuru-ka" [Does Hanako come? ] can be taken as one of the following : (i) Genuine question, (ii) Exam.question, (iii) Rhetorical question, (iv) Expository question, (v) Guess question, (vi) Surprise question, (vii) Reminder, and (viii) Self-addressed statement. We have attempted to account for these different interpretations on three levels, i.e., the logical semantics level, the relevance-theoretic level and the acoustic level. Assuming that the meaning of the sentence-final particle, "ka" is not semantically ambiguous, we have analyzed its conceptual meaning within the framework of formal semantics based on higher order logic.
It is obvious that various contextual information plays a significant role in many possible interpretations of a sentence with a particle, "ka". One of our concerns was to identify the role of the acoustic information in selecting a particular interpretation in discourse. A production experiment was carried out, and the acoustic features of each interpretation were measured. We found significant correlation between the difference in intepretation and the difference in acoustic features such as the duration of "ka". The results indicate that acoustic features function as an index of specification of interpretations.