The Production and Perception of Stress Patterns

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Krzysztof Hwaszcz

The Production and Perception of Stress Patterns 
in Ambiguous Compound Nouns in English


ss. 132, format 135x205 mm, oprawa miękka, Wrocław 2016
ISBN 978-83-62571-90-1, ISSN 2299-4068


This book falls into the area of psycholinguistics, which explores the relation between language and the brain. Among others, psycholinguistic research is a combination of neuroscience, biology and linguistics, which, through experiments, helps linguists to discover empirical evidence for the correlation between linguistic phenomena and the brain responses. Yet the exact nature of linguistic computation in the brain is still unknown and the results are often confusing and interpreted in various ways. There are no reasonable linking hypotheses that could contribute to the discovery how the brain mechanisms create the basis for linguistic computation (Poeppel & Embick, 2005, pp. 14-15). Still, psycholinguistic experiments can be conducted, which, to a smaller or bigger degree, will show the connection between the brain and language (Traxler, 2012, p. 522). This work is a modest contribution in this area.

The main goal of this monograph is to explore the relationship between prosody and meaning from the perspective of experimental psycholinguistics. English compounds constitute a particularly fruitful and intriguing linguistic material in this respect since they are often multiply ambiguous depending on the stress placement. We would like to investigate the relationship between their semantic transparency and stress placement because this may shed new light on the organization of compound words in the mental lexicon as well as on their processing in the brain, i.e., on the mechanisms used for their storage and computation. Additionally, we also intend to find out if there exists a correlation between hemispheric dominance and compound processing as this may contribute to the experimental agenda verifying the location of prosody in the brain.


Krzysztof Hwaszcz – absolwent filologii angielskiej Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego. Obecnie jest doktorantem Wydziału Filologicznego Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego oraz studentem mechaniki i budowy maszyn na Politechnice Wrocławskiej. Interesuje się zagadnieniami związanymi z językoznawstwem i psycholingwistyką. Specjalizuje się w metodach eksperymentalnych. Jego praca doktorska poświęcona jest organizacji leksykonu mentalnego w przetwarzaniu wyrazów złożonych. W badaniach podejmuje próbę połączenia nowoczesnej teorii składni z językoznawstwem psycholingwistycznym