Understanding the development of prosodic words

the role of the lexicon

Katherine Demuth*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Children's early speech productions are not entirely adult-like, with syllables and morphemes often missing from early utterances. However, these patterns of development also appear to be influenced by the language being learned. This chapter explores the role of the lexicon as a driving force in understanding both lower Prosodic Word (PW) and higher Phonological Phrase and Intonational Phrase (PP, IP) aspects of children's early speech. Using evidence from crosslinguistic studies, it shows how the prosodic shape and structure of the ambient lexicon influences the course of PW development and the implications this has for the acquisition of grammatical morphemes such as determiners. It concludes by exploring the implications of these findings for a developmental model of speech planning and production.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe development of prosody in first language acquisition
EditorsPilar Prieto, Núria Esteve-Gibert
Place of PublicationAmsterdam ; Philadelphia
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9789027264213
ISBN (Print)9789027200594
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameTrends in language acquisition research
ISSN (Print)1569-0644

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  • Projects

    Neural and behavioural evidence for children's learning of grammatical morphology

    Demuth, K., PhD Contribution (ARC), P. C. (., PhD Contribution (ARC) 2, P. C. (. 2., MQRES, M., MQRES (International), M. (., MQRES 3 (International), M. 3. & Holt, R.

    29/06/14 → …

    Project: Research

  • Cite this

    Demuth, K. (2018). Understanding the development of prosodic words: the role of the lexicon. In P. Prieto, & N. Esteve-Gibert (Eds.), The development of prosody in first language acquisition (pp. 207-224). (Trends in language acquisition research; Vol. 23). Amsterdam ; Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company. https://doi.org/10.1075/tilar.23.11.dem