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ERIC Number: EJ1078805
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Oct
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 53
ISSN: ISSN-0142-7237
Effects of Prosodic Cues on Topic Continuity in Child Language Production
Vernice, Mirta; Guasti, Maria Teresa
First Language, v34 n5 p406-427 Oct 2014
It remains controversial whether children are able to process and integrate specific linguistic cues in their mental model to the same extent as adults. In the present study, a sentence continuation task was employed to determine how Italian speakers (4-, 5-, 6-year-olds and adults) interpret prosodic cues to decide which referent is more salient in a sentence, and thus more likely to be continued as the subject of a subsequent utterance. Participants as young as 5 years of age showed the tendency to mention next, as the subject of their sentence continuations, the referent that received prosodic stress in the previous utterance. Conversely, 4-year-olds did not appear to rely on prosodic cues in order to decide which referent to mention next. These findings suggest that sensitivity to prosodic cues and the ability to integrate them in a further linguistic plan evolves with age and that a developmental change occurs between 4 and 6 years of age.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Italy (Milan)