Prior research on the acquisition of discourse focus marking has traditionally focused on prosodic cues while disregarding visual cues to mark information status. Recently, it has been shown that French children used head gestures to highlight new/contrastive discourse referents before developing the necessary prosodic cues for this purpose. As prosodic discourse marking is challenging for both L1 and L2 learners, we investigate whether this bootstrapping function of head gestures in prosodic focus marking also occurs in an L2 context.
In order to shed more light on the relationships between poor auditory input and language performance, this project investigates relationships between crystallised language knowledge (in the form of receptive vocabulary skills and phonotactic probability knowledge), hearing impairment, and individual cognitive abilities that tap auditory short-term memory and phonological representations (auditory or visual nonword repetition) and working memory.
The focus of SPRINT is intonation, the modulation of voice pitch. Intonation is essential for communication, as it conveys information that helps listeners make inferences about the intent of the speaker.