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Children’s use of intonation in reference and the role of input

Chen, A. (2015). Children’s use of intonation in reference and the role of input. In L. Serratrice, & S. E. M. Allen (Eds.), The acquisition of reference (pp. 83-104). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Studies on children’s use of intonation in reference are few in number but are diverse in terms of theoretical frameworks and intonational parameters. In the current review, I present a re-analysis of the referents in each study, using a three-dimension approach (i.e. referential givenness-newness, relational givenness-newness, contrast), discuss the use of intonation at two levels (phonetic, phonological), and compare findings from different studies within a single framework. The patterns stemming from these studies may be limited in generalisability but can serve as initial hypotheses for future work. Furthermore, I examine the role of input as available in infant direct speech in the acquisition of intonational encoding of referents. In addition, I discuss how future research can advance our knowledge.
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