NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ792615
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun
Pages: 9
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0277
Acoustic Emphasis in Four Year Olds
Wonnacott, Elizabeth; Watson, Duane G.
Cognition, v107 n3 p1093-1101 Jun 2008
Acoustic emphasis may convey a range of subtle discourse distinctions, yet little is known about how this complex ability develops in children. This paper presents a first investigation of the factors which influence the production of acoustic prominence in young children's spontaneous speech. In a production experiment, SVO sentences were elicited from 4 year olds who were asked to describe events in a video. Children were found to place more acoustic prominence both on "new" words and on words that were "given" but had shifted to a more accessible position within the discourse. This effect of accessibility concurs with recent studies of adult speech. We conclude that, by age four, children show appropriate, adult-like use of acoustic prominence, suggesting sensitivity to a variety of discourse distinctions.
Elsevier. 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887-4800. Tel: 877-839-7126; Tel: 407-345-4020; Fax: 407-363-1354; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A