Language Acquisition and Development

 

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Language Acquisition and Development

Head: Sónia Frota and Marina Vigário

European Portuguese is one of the languages which is particularly interesting to the study of prosody and of the perception and production of prosodic properties. This is due to the fact that (i) European Portuguese is different from other Romance languages in terms of the properties it displays in various prosodic levels, such as the Prosodic Word or the Phonological Phrase, (ii) its intonation stands out from the rest of the Romance languages due to the scarcity of pitch accents and its overall prosodic phrasing, and (iii) it has a rare combination of syllabic and accentual rhythmic properties, within Romance. The presence of both Romance and Germanic-like properties in the prosody of the language raises challenging questions for language acquisition (under the prosodic bootstrapping hypothesis) and for language typology. The research developed at LabFon aims at tackling some of these questions in the broader context of cross-linguistic research, focusing on prosodic variation, the acquisition of prosody and the role of prosody in language development and language processing. To this end, the group set up in 2010 the Lisbon BabyLab.

Research is carried out along three major lines:

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Prosody and it's role in different aspect of language development

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Acquisition of Prosody (prosodic phrasing, intonation, stress and prominence)

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Prosodic properties as early markers

Horizon21: Early language development in Down Syndrome

Eyes and Brain: Early markers of Language Development (EBELa)

Development of prosody and intonation (DEPE)

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