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Title: When the same form does not have the same function : how mothers' lexical repetitions shape the children's emerging linguistic and interactional skills
Author: Munhoz Xavier, Carla Cristina
ISNI:       0000 0004 7233 7817
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2017
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One of the main problems recipients and speakers have to face when using lexical repetitions is to distinguish the action the speaker is doing when uttering a repetition. The multi-functionality of repetitions makes it harder to explain some of the ambiguities involved in their analysis, and it calls for an analytic division between different actions done by repetitions in which the same form may be used for different functions. Following the interactional phonetics methodological approach, this thesis integrates the methodology of Conversation Analysis and instrumental and impressionistic phonetics to show how mothers and their children negotiate the action done by mothers’ repetitions of the children’s previous turns in everyday Brazilian Portuguese conversations. Repetitions to affirm are used as a way of approving the children’s articulatory performance and labeling ability. Here the repetition matches the children’s prior turn pitch pattern and have minimised phonetic differences. Repetitions to correct pronunciation are produced with significant difference in articulation and pitch pattern, as compared to the child’s prior realisation. The phonetic cues are understood by the children as an invitation to correct their prior turn. Mothers’ repetitions to correct the child’s lexical choice are produced with a distinctive rise-fall intonation contour. The children treat the repetitions as a hearing trouble on the mother’s side, while the mothers’ subsequent talk provides evidence that in fact she had designed the repetition with the aim of correcting the children’s lexical choice. Repetitions to request confirmation are produced also with a rise-fall contour. Mothers and children seem to orient to the repetition in the same way, since both treat them as a request of confirmation. The results show that the children’s ability to understand repetitions addressing pronunciation problems, to affirm and to request confirmation come before the ability to understand repetitions that address problems of lexical choice.
Supervisor: Walker, Traci Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available