Aoju Chen1 & Paula Fikkert2
1Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics; 2Radboud Univeristy Nijmegen

ID 1757
[full paper]

We analysed the intonation contours of two-word utterances from 3 monolingual Dutch children (1;4 -2;1) in the autosegmental-metrical framework. Our data show that children have mastered the inventory of boundary tones and nuclear pitch accent types (except for L*HL and L*!HL) at the 160-word level, and the set of non-downstepped pre-nuclear pitch accents (except for L*) at the 230-word level, contra previous claims on the mastery of adult-like intonation contours before or at the onset of first words. Further, there is evidence that intonational development is correlated with an increase in vocabulary size. Moreover, children show a preference for falling contours, as predicted on the basis of universal production mechanisms. In addition, the utterances are mostly spoken with both words accented independent of semantic relations expressed and information status of each word across developmental stages, contra prior work.