Use of Prosody and Syntactic Markers in Children’s Comprehension of Spoken Sentences A comparison was made of four- and five-year-old children’s comprehension of coordinate, center-embedded relative clause, and right-branching relative clause sentences under four conditions of presentation: (1) prosody (P) and syntactic markers (M) intact; (2) P intact and M eliminated; (3) M intact and P eliminated; and (4) M and P ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1974
Use of Prosody and Syntactic Markers in Children’s Comprehension of Spoken Sentences
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Margaret Lahey
    Montclair State College, Upper Montclair, New Jersey
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1974
Use of Prosody and Syntactic Markers in Children’s Comprehension of Spoken Sentences
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1974, Vol. 17, 656-668. doi:10.1044/jshr.1704.656
History: Received November 26, 1973 , Accepted February 7, 1974
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1974, Vol. 17, 656-668. doi:10.1044/jshr.1704.656
History: Received November 26, 1973; Accepted February 7, 1974

A comparison was made of four- and five-year-old children’s comprehension of coordinate, center-embedded relative clause, and right-branching relative clause sentences under four conditions of presentation: (1) prosody (P) and syntactic markers (M) intact; (2) P intact and M eliminated; (3) M intact and P eliminated; and (4) M and P eliminated. The number of semantic-syntactic relationships in a sentence that were correctly acted out were analyzed by age, sentence type, and conditions of presentation. More relationships were acted out appropriately by five year olds. Differences between sentence type were significant with coordinate sentence type the easiest and right-branching sentence type the most difficult. Conditions of presentation did not significantly affect responses, although there was a significant interaction between condition and sentence type. Scores were significantly lower for center-embedded sentences when M was intact and P eliminated. It was concluded that word order was the major linguistic cue used by the children to process these sentences.

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