Young children's use of prosody in sentence parsing.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Korean children's ability to use prosodic phrasing in sentence comprehension was studied using two types of ambiguity. First, we examined a word-segmentation ambiguity in which placement of the phrasal boundary leads to different interpretations of a sentence. Next, we examined a syntactic ambiguity in which the same words were differently grouped into syntactic phrases by prosodic demarcation. Children aged 3 or 4 years showed that they could use prosodic information to segment utterances and to derive the meaning of ambiguous sentences when the sentences only contained a word-segmentation ambiguity. However, even 5- to 6-year-old children were not able to reliably resolve the second type of ambiguity, an ambiguity of phrasal grouping, by using prosodic information. The results demonstrate that children's difficulties in dealing with structural ambiguity are not due to their inability to use prosodic information.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Choi, Y; Mazuka, R

Published Date

  • March 2003

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 32 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 197 - 217

PubMed ID

  • 12690831

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-6555

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0090-6905

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1023/a:1022400424874


  • eng