2018 年 89 巻 3 号 p. 302-308
In speech, paralinguistic information and lexical content may convey different emotions simultaneously. To infer a speaker’s emotion from speech, adults are likely to rely on paralinguistic information, while young children tend to rely on lexical content. This tendency to rely on lexical content is called a lexical bias. The present study aims to reveal the developmental trajectory of the emotional inference of speech by testing Japanese children aged 3 to 9 years. We also examine the degree to which children override their lexical bias as they become better able to use paralinguistic information to correctly understand emotions. The results show that every year, Japanese children give more weight to paralinguistic information than to lexical content in judging a speaker’s emotion during speech. However, the results also suggest that the lexical bias cannot be sufficiently overridden by improved sophistication in emotional inference from paralinguistic information alone.