German 5-year-olds' intonational marking of information status
Herbst, L. E.
German 5-year-olds' intonational marking of information status. In J. Trouvain, & W. J. Barry (Eds.
), Proceedings of the 16th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 2007)
(pp. 1557-1560). Dudweiler: Pirrot.
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.