The effect of intonation on the illocutionary force of declaratives in child comprehension

  • Daniel Goodhue
  • Jad Wehbe
  • Valentine Hacquard
  • Jeffrey Lidz

Abstract

We report on a novel experimental paradigm that investigates preschoolers’ inter-pretations of clause types, with a focus on the distinctions between polar interrogatives, falling declaratives, and rising declaratives. Prior research demonstrates that by about age three, children have acquired the links between the main clause types and their canonical speech acts, and shows that they are also aware of indirect requests. But as of yet, there is no work exploring their comprehension of rising declaratives. Our results suggest that children possess an adult-like understanding of pragmatics and prosody that allows them to uncover the intended illocutionary force of speakers’ utterances.
Published
2021-09-16
How to Cite
Goodhue, D., Wehbe, J., Hacquard, V., & Lidz, J. (2021). The effect of intonation on the illocutionary force of declaratives in child comprehension. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 25, 307-324. https://doi.org/10.18148/sub/2021.v25i0.939