Keynote Speaker: Jiwon Yun

BEAL Forum 4. Plenary Session. Jiwon Yun

Date: Friday, 5 March 2021
Time: 1-2:20 pm EST
Venue: Virtual event via Zoom, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

Professor Jiwon Yun
Stony Brook University

Wh-words in East Asian Languages: Intonation and Meaning”

Abstract: Wh-words in East Asian languages are ambiguous between interrogative and indefinite readings (e.g. shei in Chinese, dare in Japanese, nwukwu in Korean can all appear in phrases that indicate either ‘who’ or ‘someone’). This talk concerns how the two meanings of wh-words can be distinguished by intonation. While several intonational factors such as phonetic prominence, phonological phrasing, and sentence-final intonation have been mentioned in the literature to affect the interpretation, I argue that the most decisive factor is phonological phrasing that affect the global intonation pattern, presenting evidence from production/perception experiments (Jun & Oh 1996; Maekawa 1991; Yang et al. 2020; Yun 2019). In particular, the experimental results disconfirm the previous impressionistic observations that wh-interrogatives are intonationally distinguished from their indefinite counterparts by their prominence; the prosodic prominence of the wh-word per se does not induce an interrogative reading unless the change of the global intonation pattern is accompanied.

BEAL Forum logo - 250x250Bio: Dr. Jiwon Yun is Associate Professor of the Department of Linguistics at Stony Brook University. Her areas of research include semantics, prosody, computational linguistics, and cognitive science. Her research has paid attention to the East Asian languages including Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering at Seoul National University, Korea, and a Ph.D. in Linguistics at Cornell University.

Free and Open to the Public

BEAL Forum 4 Organizing Committee
Faculty Co-Chairs: Mineharu Nakayama, Marjorie K.M. Chan, and Zhiguo Xie
Student Co-Chairs: Junyu Ruan & Shunichi Maruyama
Committee Members: (to be added)

East Asian Studies Center, Graduate Association of Chinese Linguistics (GACL), Graduate Students of East Asian Languages and Literatures (GREALL), Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures (DEALL), Department of Linguistics, Buckeye Language Network (BLN), and the Institute for Korean Studies (IKS).

This event is sponsored in part by a U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant for The Ohio State University East Asian Studies Center, programming fund for GACL from the Council on Student Affairs, and by the James H-Y. Tai Buckeye East Asian Linguistics Fund.