Nicole Dehé
The prosodic phrasing of parenthetical comment clauses in spontaneous spoken language: Evidence from Icelandic held ég
Studia Linguistica 72(1), 2018: 128-164

Based on the analysis of corpus data, this paper investigates the prosodic phrasing of the Icelandic parenthetical comment clause (CC) held ég ('believe/think I'; I think, I believe) and relates the results to current prosodic theory. The main findings are as follows. (i) A variety of intonational phrasing patterns is possible with CC held ég, allowing both for prosodic separation such that the CC is phrased in its own Intonational Phrase (IP), and prosodic integration, such that the CC is phrased in one IP with surrounding material. (ii) Prosodic integration is by far the more common pattern. (iii) The prosodic phrasing of CCs is related to their meaning via prominence. In particular, CCs which can be argued to have conventional implicatures (CI) semantics are prosodically prominent and phrased separately; CCs whose primary function is one of mitigation are unstressed and integrated. (iv) The observed intonational phrasing patterns can be accounted for in terms of the interaction of the syntax-prosody interface constraint Match clause with prosodic markedness constraints.