Edited by Pilar Prieto and Núria Esteve-Gibert
[Trends in Language Acquisition Research 23] 2018
► pp. 227–246
Chapter 12. Early development of the prosody-meaning interface
This chapter reviews evidence on how infants up to 18 months of age develop the ability to use prosody as a sign of the expression of pragmatic meanings, from both a comprehension and a production point of view. Developmental research reveals that pre-lexical infants use prosodic information not only to comprehend emotions in the speech of their communicative partners, the intentional value of the partners’ speech, and their speech act motivation, but also to express these same pragmatic meanings when they communicate with others. In essence, before the emergence of lexical and grammatical skills, infants use prosody to communicate intentionally with the world around them.