This paper investigates whether children make the distinction between syntactic marking and prosodic marking of focus. The acquisition of focus marking provides a good testing ground to compare parametric and interface views on focus. If focus marking is parametric, children acquiring a language with syntactic focus marking should fail to comprehendmarked word orders. If a language marks focus only prosodically, they should initially fail to comprehend prosodic markedness. Crucially, in Portuguese, in which both strategies co-exist, children are expected to fail on both. The results show that children have problems with the prosodic strategy only, favoring an interface approach to focus.
ZHOU, PENG, YI (ESTHER) SU, STEPHEN CRAIN, LIQUN GAO & LIKAN ZHAN
2012. Children's use of phonological information in ambiguity resolution: a view from Mandarin Chinese. Journal of Child Language 39:4 ► pp. 687 ff.
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