ERIC Number: EJ930012
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Intonational Phrase Structure Processing at Different Stages of Syntax Acquisition: ERP Studies in 2-, 3-, and 6-Year-Old Children
Mannel, Claudia; Friederici, Angela D.
Developmental Science, v14 n4 p786-798 Jul 2011
This study explored the electrophysiology underlying intonational phrase processing at different stages of syntax acquisition. Developmental studies suggest that children's syntactic skills advance significantly between 2 and 3 years of age. Here, children of three age groups were tested on phrase-level prosodic processing before and after this developmental phase, while their brain activity was recorded. The Closure Positive Shift (CPS), which indexes the perception of intonational phrasing in adults, served as dependent variable. The event-related brain potentials of 3- and 6-year-olds, but not of 21-month-olds, showed a CPS. These results suggest that prosodic phrase processing, as indicated by the CPS, is established only later during children's development, pointing to a close interaction of prosody and syntax acquisition.
Descriptors: Phrase Structure, Children, Brain Hemisphere Functions, Cognitive Processes, Intonation, Physiology, Diagnostic Tests, Language Acquisition, Auditory Perception, Child Development, Toddlers, Young Children
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
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