Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login

New from Cambridge University Press!


Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

We Have a New Site!

With the help of your donations we have been making good progress on designing and launching our new website! Check it out at!
***We are still in our beta stages for the new site--if you have any feedback, be sure to let us know at***

Academic Paper

Title: Can prosody encode recursive embedding? Children's realizations of complex NPs in Japanese
Author: Manami Hirayama
Author: Laura Colantoni
Author: Ana Pérez-Leroux
Linguistic Field: Phonology; Syntax
Subject Language: Japanese
Abstract: Recursive NPs are difficult to produce and late to emerge. We compare prosodic and syntactic abilities in Japanese-speaking five- and six-year-olds (n = 28) and adults (n = 10). It is reported that syntactic structure in Japanese is prosodically marked via downstep and metrical boost. Results of an elicited imitation task suggested that children had acquired the lexical prosody (contrast between accented and unaccented words), a pre-requisite for downstep realization. While downstep, the prosodic phrasing involved in the complex NPs in this study, was established, children showed interspeaker variation with the metrical boost, a feature that distinguishes recursively embedded NPs from non-recursive NPs. However, variability was also found in adults, indicating that, in contrast to previous results, prosodic encoding of syntax is generally unreliable in adult speech. Finally, the magnitude of metrical boost was not correlated to children's ability to produce recursive possessives, suggesting that prosody does not help bootstrap Japanese children's recursive phrases.


This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 48, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site .

Return to TOC.

View the full article for free in the current issue of
Cambridge Extra Magazine!
Add a new paper
Return to Academic Papers main page
Return to Directory of Linguists main page