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ERIC Number: EJ890910
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0965
Preschoolers' Appreciation of Speaker Vocal Affect as a Cue to Referential Intent
Berman, Jared M. J.; Chambers, Craig G.; Graham, Susan A.
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, v107 n2 p87-99 Oct 2010
An eye tracking methodology was used to evaluate 3- and 4-year-old children's sensitivity to speaker affect when resolving referential ambiguity. Children were presented with pictures of three objects on a screen (including two referents of the same kind, e.g., an intact doll and a broken doll, and one distracter item), paired with a prerecorded referentially ambiguous instruction (e.g., "Look at the doll"). The intonation of the instruction varied in terms of the speaker's vocal affect: positive-sounding, negative-sounding, or neutral. Analyses of eye gaze patterns indicated that 4-year-olds, but not 3-year-olds, were more likely to look to the referent whose state matched the speaker's vocal affect as the noun was heard (e.g., looked more often to the broken doll referent in the negative affect condition). These findings indicate that 4-year-olds can use speaker affect to help identify referential mappings during on-line comprehension. (Contains 4 figures and 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A