The perception of clauses in 6 and 8 month old German learning infants  [Elektronische Ressource] : influence of pause duration and the natural pause hierarchy / vorgelegt von Michaela Schmitz
199 pages
English

The perception of clauses in 6 and 8 month old German learning infants [Elektronische Ressource] : influence of pause duration and the natural pause hierarchy / vorgelegt von Michaela Schmitz

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199 pages
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Publié par
Publié le 01 janvier 2008
Nombre de lectures 33
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

Exrait


The Perception of Clauses in 6- and 8-
Month-Old German-Learning Infants:
Influence of Pause Duration and the
Natural Pause Hierarchy



Dissertation zur Erlangung des Doktorgrades der Philosophie


vorgelegt von

Michaela Schmitz, M.A.



Institut für Linguistik / Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft
Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Universität Potsdam


Eingereicht: 28. Mai 2008
Disputation: 10. Oktober 2008



Erstgutachterin: Prof. Dr. Barbara Höhle
Zweitgutachter: Prof. Dr. Jürgen Weissenborn This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License:
Attribution - Noncommercial - Share Alike 3.0 Germany
To view a copy of this license visit
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/de/










































Online published at the
Institutional Repository of the Potsdam University:
http://opus.kobv.de/ubp/volltexte/2009/2907/
urn:nbn:de:kobv:517-opus-29078
[http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:kobv:517-opus-29078]



In Memoriam
Margot M. Schmitz
1937 - 2004








oi)/da ou)k ei)dw/j
Scio nescio
‘I know that I don't know’
Sokrates (469 - 399 v. Chr.)




What we know is a drop.
What we don’t know is an ocean.
Sir Isaac Newton (1643 - 1727)

Acknowledgements
Much of this study was conducted while I had the opportunity to work in the project
C3 „Erwerb sprachlicher Mittel der Markierung von Informationsstruktur im
Erstspracherwerb: Prosodische, syntaktische und lexikalische Aspekte“ of the DFG-funded
Sonderforschungsbereich 632 „Informationsstruktur: Die sprachlichen Mittel der Gliederung
von Äußerung, Satz und Text“.
How infants acquire their native language is a fascinating and intriguing topic. I have
learned much about these issues during my time spent in Potsdam. I am very grateful for this
time and this opportunity. My thanks go especially to Prof. Barbara Höhle and Prof. Jürgen
Weissenborn for introducing me to the fascinating field of early language acquisition, for
supervising and constantly supporting me during the long time it took to finish this work.
Most of all, I’d like to thank the infants and their parents for participating in the experiments
of this study. Without them, this work could never have been accomplished!
A special thank goes to Kerstin Leuckefeld and the Max-Planck-Institut für
Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften in Leipzig for providing the original auditory material
which I used in my experiments, and to Claudia Männel for sharing and discussing the results
of her work with me.
I would also like to thank my former and present colleagues: Frauke Berger, Heiner
Drenhaus, Ines Fiedler, Jeannine Gies, Renate Kaldewey, Frank Kügler, Theo Marinis,
Svetlana Petrova, Diana Pili, Anne Schwarz, Anke Sennema, Julia Siegmüller, Stavros
Skopeteas, Nicole Stadie, Anja van Kampen, Ruben van de Vijver, and most of all Anja
Müller, who shared the office with me for the last five years. Furthermore, I would like to
thank all the colleagues and student assistants who have worked with me in the Babylab in
Potsdam over the last 10 years: Sonja Bartels, Sylvia Dobler, Eva Gercke, who willingly
undertook the laborious task of proofreading this thesis, Tom Fritzsche, Susan Ott, Lydia
Pelzer, Anne Rosenthal, who was mainly responsible for the second coding of the data I
present here, Caroline Schröder, Antje Schulz, and Katrin Skoruppa. It was a pleasure to have
worked with you and I’d like to thank you all for the support I’ve received in various ways,
and for the time we spent together discussing work and life.
A heartfelt thank goes to my friends who always believed in me, even when I myself
didn’t: Joanna B łaszczak, Birgit Herold, Ioulia Iouannidou, Anja Ischebeck, Christina
Kauschke, Janette Timmer and Sabine Völker-Straub, some of you have been with me in
some of the darkest hours of my life. I thank you all for your friendship and encouragement,
and for answering that one telephone call in the middle of the night. And a special thank goes to Frank Wesel, for many a good conversation and many a good dinner – and for introducing
me to Tango Argentino.
Last but not least, I’d like to thank my family: my mother, to whom this work is
dedicated, my father, my sister and her family for their emotional support and confidence in
me, and my aunt, Ute Schmitz, for keeping me company when I needed her.

9

Table of Contents
Table of Contents ..................................................................................................................9
List of Abbreviations ...........................................................................................................13
List of Figures .....................................................................................................................15
1 Introduction.................................................................................................17
I Theoretical Background.............................................................................................25
2 Clauses and Pauses.....................................................................................25
2.1 Prosodic cues in the input.............................................................................26
2.1.1 Production of prosodic cues marking syntactic boundaries ................................26
The prosodic hierarchy .....................................................................................................27
2.1.2 Production of pauses ...........................................................................................28
2.1.2.1 Breathing pauses.......................................................................................................28
2.1.2.2 Hesitation pauses......................................................................................................30
2.1.2.3 Pauses as cues to syntactic and prosodic boundaries ..............................................30
Production of pauses in the speech of adults ....................................................................31 of speech of children.................................................................34
Production of pauses in child-directed speech..................................................................35
2.1.3 Correlation between prosody and syntax ............................................................38
2.2 Infants’ sensitivity to the prosodic cues provided by the input ................42
2.2.1 Sensitivity to rhythmic properties of speech .......................................................43
Preference for the native language ...................................................................................43
Discriminating two non-native languages.........................................................................44
2.2.2 The Prosodic Bootstrapping Hypothesis .............................................................47
Critical analysis of the prosodic bootstrapping hypothesis ..............................................49

10

2.2.3 The perception of… ............................................................................................ 53
2.2.3.1 Words ........................................................................................................................53
2.2.3.2 Phrases......................................................................................................................57
2.2.3.3 Clauses / Sentences ...................................................................................................64
Perception of clause boundaries in English-learning infants ...........................................65
Perception of clause boundaries in Japanese-learning infants.........................................68
Perception of clause boundaries in infants - Further evidence70
Perception of clause boundaries - Non-behavioural studies.............................................73
2.2.3.4 Pauses .......................................................................................................................77
Pause perception in adults - Behavioural studies .............................................................77 tion in infants ............................................................80
Pause perception - Non-behavioural studies.....................................................................81
2.3 Use of prosodic cues to identify syntactic boundaries............................... 83
Use of prosodic cues by adults ..........................................................................................83
Use of prosodic cues by infants.........................................................................................85
2.4 Conclusion of Part I...................................................................................... 92

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