NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ906359
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Feb
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0965
The Developing Role of Prosody in Novel Word Interpretation
Herold, Debora S.; Nygaard, Lynne C.; Chicos, Kelly A.; Namy, Laura L.
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, v108 n2 p229-241 Feb 2011
This study examined whether children use prosodic correlates to word meaning when interpreting novel words. For example, do children infer that a word spoken in a deep, slow, loud voice refers to something larger than a word spoken in a high, fast, quiet voice? Participants were 4- and 5-year-olds who viewed picture pairs that varied along a single dimension (e.g., big vs. small flower) and heard a recorded voice asking them, for example, "Can you get the "blicket" one?" spoken with either meaningful or neutral prosody. The 4-year-olds failed to map prosodic cues to their corresponding meaning, whereas the 5-year-olds succeeded (Experiment 1). However, 4-year-olds successfully mapped prosodic cues to word meaning following a training phase that reinforced children's attention to prosodic information (Experiment 2). These studies constitute the first empirical demonstration that young children are able to use prosody-to-meaning correlates as a cue to novel word interpretation. (Contains 4 tables.)
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 - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A