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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: The prosodic (re)organization of children's early English articles
Author: Katherine Demuth
Institution: Macquarie University
Author: Elizabeth McCullough
Institution: Brown University
Linguistic Field: Phonology; Semantics; Syntax
Abstract: Researchers have long been puzzled by children's variable omission of grammatical morphemes, often attributing this to a lack of semantic or syntactic competence. Recent studies suggest that some of this variability may be due to phonological constraints. This paper explored this issue further by conducting a longitudinal study of five English-speaking one- to two-year-olds' acquisition of articles. It found that most children were more likely to produce articles when these could be produced as part of a disyllabic foot. However, acoustic analysis revealed that one child initially produced all articles as independent prosodic words. These findings confirm that some of the variable production of articles is conditioned by constraints on children's early phonologies, providing further support for the Prosodic Licensing Hypothesis. They also hold important implications for our understanding of the emergence of syntactic knowledge.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 36, Issue 1.

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