Session Intonational Development:

Intonational Development from Babbling to the Two-word Stage

Type: special
Chair: Aoju Chen, Paula Fikkert
Date: Thursday - August 09, 2007
Time: 16:00
Room: 2 (Orange)

 

Intonational Development-1 DIVERSITY AND CONTRASTIVITY IN PROSODIC AND SYLLABIC DEVELOPMENT
Kimbrough Oller, The University of Memphis
Suneeti NathaniIyer, The University of Georgia
Eugene Buder, The University of Memphis
Kyounghwa Kwon, The University of Memphis
Lesya Chorna, The University of Memphis
Kelly Conway, The University of Georgia
Paper File
  The development of prosodic capabilities in infants has been studied extensively. Results have, however, often been contradictory, in part because approaches to the study have been divergent. A traditional approach with an innatist bias has sought to demonstrate very early mastery of adult-like speech characteristics of the prosodic system. More recently, research has sought to illustrate that infants actively build a phonological system, including both prosodic and syllabic features. In our approach, adult-like features of speech are not expected to emerge fully formed early in life, but to unfold in infrastructural stages. We preview a longitudinal project on infant vocal development, and argue that two widely-studied prosodic phenomena (final-syllable lengthening and pitch control) show complexities that require recognition of the infantís active participation in development of prosody. This exploratory participation leads to nuances that contradict simplistic generalizations about early emergence of adult-like prosodic structures.
Intonational Development-2 EARLY INTONATIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN CATALAN
Pilar Prieto , Universitat AutÚnoma de Barcelona
Maria del Mar Vanrell, Universitat AutÚnoma de Barcelona
Paper File
  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 childrenís 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.
Intonational Development-3 Intonation of early two-word utterances in Dutch
Aoju Chen, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
Paula Fikkert, Radboud Univeristy Nijmegen
Paper File
  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.
Intonational Development-4 THE PROSODY OF EARLY MULTI-WORD SPEECH: WORD ORDER AND ITS INTONATIONAL REALIZATION IN THE SPEECH PRODUCTION OF ITALIAN CHILDREN
Laura DíOdorico, University of Milano-Bicocca- Italy
Mirco Fasolo, University of Milano-Bicocca- Italy
Paper File
  The purpose of this study was to investigate, in a group of Italian children, the development of the capacity to use prosodic features to mark different syntactic organizations of multi-word utterances, during the first phase of syntactic acquisition. The focus is on the prosodic realizations of multi-word utterances in which children begin to use the argument structure of verbs (vocabulary size > 400 words, MLU range 1.3 - 3.0). Results showed that non-canonical order is not marked by specific type of intonation contours and does not show specific values of duration, F0 max, F0 min or key. On the other hand, when the (optional) subject is expressed in canonical utterances it is very frequently marked by primary stress.

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