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Audiology - Communication Research

versão On-line ISSN 2317-6431


MELO, Cristina Gonçalves de  e  CHACON, Lourenço. Relationship between pauses and prosodic constituents in the speech of children with typical language development. Audiol., Commun. Res. [online]. 2015, vol.20, n.1, pp.18-23. ISSN 2317-6431.


(1)To verify distribution of non-hesitation and hesitation pauses during interviews with children who presented typical language development; (2) To verify, in non-hesitation pauses, its relation with phonological utterance and intonational phrase boundaries; (3) To verify, in hesitation pauses, its distribution along the beginning and ending of utterances.


Pauses have been extracted from speech samples of four children with typical language development, aged between four and five years old, who attended Preschool at a Municipal Preschool in Marília, in 2011. Speech samples covered topics developed within ten pedagogical proposals carried out in the classroom. Subsequently, hearing inspection of every file was performed by the researcher (complemented by auditory-perceptual judgment from a group of five judges) to identify pause points.


Statistical differences weren’t found in distribution between hesitation and non-hesitation pauses; marginal tendency for higher rate of pauses in intonational phrases boundaries than in phonological utterance boundaries was detected; there wasn’t statistical difference in distribution between hesitation pauses in the beginning and in the middle of utterances.


Instability in pause distribution is an important linguistic resource for observing prosodic domains, which are more or less mastered by children during language acquisition.

Palavras-chave : Language; Child development; Child language; Child rearing; Linguistics.

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