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Academic Paper

Title: Is Prosodic Development Correlated with Grammatical and Lexical Development? Evidence from Emerging Intonation in Catalan and Spanish
Author: Pilar Prieto
Institution: Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Author: Ana Estrella
Institution: Michigan State University
Author: Jill Thorson
Institution: Brown University
Author: Maria Del Mar Vanrell
Institution: Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Subject Language: Catalan-Valencian-Balear
Abstract: This investigation focuses on the development of intonation patterns in four Catalan-speaking children and two Spanish-speaking children between 0 ; 11 and 2 ; 4. Pitch contours were prosodically analyzed within the Autosegmental Metrical framework in all meaningful utterances, for a total of 6558 utterances. The pragmatic meaning and communicative function were also assessed. Three main conclusions arise from the results. First, the study shows that the Autosegmental Metrical model can be successfully used to transcribe early intonation contours. Second, results reveal that children's emerging intonation is largely independent of grammatical development, and generally it develops well before the appearance of two-word combinations. As for the relationship between lexical and intonational development, the data show that the emergence of intonational grammar is related to the onset of speech and the presence of a small lexicon. Finally, we discuss the implications of these results for the biological hypothesis of intonational production.


This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 39, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site .

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