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Cognitive Literary Science

Edited by Michael Burke and Emily T. Troscianko

Cognitive Literary Science "Brings together researchers in cognitive-scientific fields and with literary backgrounds for a comprehensive look at cognition and literature."


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Intonation and Prosodic Structure

By Caroline Féry

Intonation and Prosodic Structure "provides a state-of-the-art survey of intonation and prosodic structure."


Academic Paper


Title: Two-Year-Olds Use Primary Sentence Accent to Learn New Words
Author: Susanne Grassmann
Institution: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Author: Michael Tomasello
Institution: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Phonology
Abstract: German children aged 2;1 heard a sentence containing a nonce noun and a nonce verb (Der Feks miekt). Either the noun or the verb was prosodically highlighted by increased pitch, duration and loudness. Independently, either the object or the action in the ongoing referential scene was the new element in the situation. Children learned the nonce noun only when it was both highlighted prosodically and the object in the scene was referentially new. They did not learn the nonce verb in any condition. These results suggest that from early in linguistic development, young children understand that prosodic salience in a sentence indicates referential newness.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 34, Issue 3.

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