Pilar Prieto & Maria del Mar Vanrell
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

ID 1748
[full paper]

This paper focuses on the development of intonation f0 patterns in four Catalan-speaking children between the ages of 12 and 26 months approximately. To our knowledge, to date no work has addressed the acquisition of Catalan intonation. Pitch contours were acoustically analyzed in all meaningful utterances produced by each child, for a total of 3,143 utterances. Contrary to what has been claimed in the literature, our results reveal that children’s emerging intonation is largely independent of grammatical development. The four children had clearly mastered the production of a wide variety of language-specific pitch accents and boundary tones well before they produced two-word combinations, regardless of the fact that the age for two-word production was 1;6 for two of the children and 2;0 for the other two.