German 5-year-olds' intonational marking of information status


This paper reports on findings from an elicited production task with German 5-year-old children, investigating their use of intonation to mark information status of discourse referents. In line with findings for adults, new referents were preferably marked by H* and L+H*; textually given referents were mainly deaccented. Accessible referents (whose first mentions were less recent) were mostly accented, and predominantly also realised with H* and L+H*, showing children’s sensitivity to recency of mention. No evidence for the consistent use of a special ‘accessibility accent’ H+L* (as has been proposed for adult German) was found

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This paper was published in MPG.PuRe.

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