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Bridging the gap between prosody and pragmatics: the acquisition of pragmatic prosody in the preschool years and Its relation with theory of mind

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dc.contributor.author Pronina, Mariia
dc.contributor.author Hübscher, Iris
dc.contributor.author Vilà-Giménez, Ingrid
dc.contributor.author Prieto Vives, Pilar, 1965-
dc.date.accessioned 2022-05-25T05:33:33Z
dc.date.available 2022-05-25T05:33:33Z
dc.date.issued 2021
dc.identifier.citation Pronina M, Hübscher I, Vilà-Giménez I, Prieto P. Bridging the gap between prosody and pragmatics: the acquisition of pragmatic prosody in the preschool years and its relation with theory of mind. Front Psychol. 2021;12:662124. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.662124
dc.identifier.issn 1664-1068
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10230/53236
dc.description.abstract While it is well known that prosodic features are central in the conveyance of pragmatic meaning across languages, developmental research has assessed a narrow set of pragmatic functions of prosody. Research on prosodic development has focused on early infancy, with the subsequent preschool ages and beyond having received less attention. This study sets out to explore how young preschoolers develop the ability to use prosody to express pragmatic meanings while taking into account children’s Theory of Mind (ToM) development. Though ToM has been suggested to be linked to the development of receptive prosody, little is known about its relationship with expressive prosodic skills. A total of 102 3- to 4-year-old Catalan-speaking children were assessed for their pragmatic prosody skills using 35 picture-supported prompts revolving around a variety of social scenarios, as well as for their ToM skills. The responses were analyzed for prosodic appropriateness. The analyses revealed that 3- to 4-year-olds successfully produced prosody to encode basic expressive acts and unbiased speech acts such as information-seeking questions. Yet they had more trouble with complex expressive acts and biased speech acts such as the ones that convey speakers’ beliefs. Further analyses showed that ToM alone is not sufficient to explain children’s prosodic score, but the prosodic performance in some pragmatic areas (unbiased pragmatic meanings) was predicted by the interaction between ToM and age. Overall, this evidence for the acquisition of pragmatic prosody by young preschoolers demonstrates the importance of bridging the gap between prosody and pragmatics when accounting for prosodic developmental profiles, as well as taking into account the potential influence of ToM and other socio-cognitive and language skills in this development.
dc.description.sponsorship This work benefited from funding awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (MCIU), Agencia Estatal de Investigación (AEI), Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional (FEDER) (PGC2018-097007-B-I00), and the Generalitat de Catalunya (2017 SGR_971). IH was supported by the University of Zurich’s University Research Priority Program “Language and Space.” MP also acknowledges support from the Secretariat for Universities and Research of the Ministry of Business and Knowledge of the Government of Catalonia and the European Social Fund (2020 FI_B2 00192).
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher Frontiers
dc.rights Copyright © 2021 Pronina, Hübscher, Vilà-Giménez and Prieto. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
dc.rights.uri https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
dc.title Bridging the gap between prosody and pragmatics: the acquisition of pragmatic prosody in the preschool years and Its relation with theory of mind
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
dc.identifier.doi http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.662124
dc.subject.keyword Prosody
dc.subject.keyword Acquisition
dc.subject.keyword Pragmatics
dc.subject.keyword Development
dc.subject.keyword Theory of Mind (ToM)
dc.subject.keyword Preschoolers
dc.relation.projectID info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/ES/2PE/PGC2018-097007-B-I00
dc.rights.accessRights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
dc.type.version info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion


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