Different phrasal prominence realizations in VO and OV languages

ABSTRACT: How do infants start learning the syntax of the language they are
exposed to? In this paper, we examine a plausible mechanism for the acquisition
of the relative order of heads and complements. We hypothesize that the
iambic-trochaic law determines the physical realization of main prominence
within phonological phrases that contain more than one word: if it is realized
mainly through pitch and intensity, it is in a phonological phrase that is stressinitial
and has a complement-head structure, otherwise it is in a phonological
phrase that is stress-final and has a head-complement structure. We show this
to be the case both across languages (French and Turkish), and within a language
(German, where both orders of head and complement are found). Our
finding allows us to consider a psychologically plausible mechanism for the
acquisition of the relative order of heads and complements, one of the basic
properties of syntax. Because the mechanism is based on auditory perception,
it can be utilized before any knowledge of words, thus accounting for
the flawlessness in infants' first words combinations.

Tipo Pubblicazione: 
Articolo
Author or Creator: 
Nespor M.
Shukla M.
van de Vijver R.
Avesani C.
Schraudolf H.
Donati C.
Publisher: 
Il Mulino., Bologna, Italia
Source: 
Lingue e linguaggio 2 (2008): 139–167.
info:cnr-pdr/source/autori:Nespor M.; Shukla M.; van de Vijver R.; Avesani C.; Schraudolf H.; Donati C./titolo:Different phrasal prominence realizations in VO and OV languages/doi:/rivista:Lingue e linguaggio/anno:2008/pagina_da:139/pagina_a:167/interval
Date: 
2008
Resource Identifier: 
http://www.cnr.it/prodotto/i/69616
Language: 
Eng
ISTC Author: 
Ritratto di Cinzia Avesani
Real name: