White Rose University Consortium logo
University of Leeds logo University of Sheffield logo York University logo

When the same form does not have the same function: how mothers’ lexical repetitions shape the children’s emerging linguistic and interactional skills

Munhoz Xavier, Carla Cristina (2017) When the same form does not have the same function: how mothers’ lexical repetitions shape the children’s emerging linguistic and interactional skills. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

Text (PhD thesis)
final copy..pdf
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales.

Download (9Mb) | Preview


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.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: CA, other-initiated repair, language acquisition, phonetics
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Human Communication Sciences (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health (Sheffield) > Human Communication Sciences (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.749455
Depositing User: Dr Carla Cristina Munhoz Xavier
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2018 13:21
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2019 20:04
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/20922

You do not need to contact us to get a copy of this thesis. Please use the 'Download' link(s) above to get a copy.
You can contact us about this thesis. If you need to make a general enquiry, please see the Contact us page.

Actions (repository staff only: login required)