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ERIC Number: EJ845335
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 29
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 49
ISSN: ISSN-0023-8309
Grammar and Frequency Effects in the Acquisition of Prosodic Words in European Portuguese
Vigario, Marina; Freitas, Maria Joao; Frota, Sonia
Language and Speech, v49 n2 p175-203 2006
This paper investigates the acquisition of prosodic words in European Portuguese (EP) through analysis of grammatical and statistical properties of the target language and child speech. The analysis of grammatical properties shows that there are solid cues to the prosodic word (PW) in EP, and the presence of early word-based phonology in child speech shows that EP children are aware of these cues. It is thus hypothesized that grammatical properties could play a role in the development of the PW by promoting the early production of the different word shapes found in the language. The analysis of statistical properties of the input, namely word shape frequencies in adult speech and child-directed speech, shows that they constrain early word shapes in child speech in ways similar to recent reports on other languages: a fairly high frequency of monosyllabic shapes, and especially of monosyllabic CV shapes, in the input agrees with the production of subminimal words in child speech; a fairly high frequency of trisyllabic and larger shapes in the input (adult speech in particular) matches the early development of words larger than a binary foot. These patterns, together with the co-occurrence of truncation to subminimal shapes in the initial and later stages, as well as the presence of prosodic fillers regardless of word size, support the claim that early words in EP are not constrained by minimality or maximality requirements. The potential interaction of grammar and frequency effects in PW acquisition is discussed in the light of the present findings and comparable data available in the literature for English, French, Spanish and Catalan. (Contains 9 tables, 2 figures and 4 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A