Perception of Prominence Patterns in English Nominal Compounds

Gero Kunter, Universit├Ąt Siegen

This paper investigates prominence patterns in English noun-noun compounds. A perception experiment is presented in which naive listeners rated the prominence relation between the two elements. It is found that either the first or the second element of the stimuli is perceived as more prominent, and that the distinction can be considered categorical. Pertinent statistics are discussed that can assess the reliability of different raters. It is shown that right prominence is more difficult to perceive by many listeners than left prominence.