Session L 1 Acquisition I:

First Language Acquisition I

Type: oral
Chair: Paola Escudero
Date: Tuesday - August 07, 2007
Time: 09:00
Room: 5 (Blue)


L 1 Acquisition I-1 Speech Clarity in Infant-directed Singing: an Analysis of German Vowels
Simone Falk, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Paper File
  The findings discussed in this paper are part of a broader fieldwork study where the characteristics of infant-directed singing in natural interaction are analyzed. The aim of this part of the study was to determine whether vowels in infant-directed singing were of a clearer speech quality compared to adult-directed speech as it has been shown several times for ID speech. Six German speaking mothers sang for their children aged between 2 and 10 months. Stressed long vowels /a:/, /i:/, /u:/ of these songs were analyzed and compared to vowels in samples of AD speech. Results show that mothers use acoustically more extreme vowels when singing for their infants than in AD speech. This indicates that singing forms a subpart of the infant-directed register which is well-adapted to assist the child at an early stage in acquiring the linguistically relevant characteristics of his/her mother tongue.
L 1 Acquisition I-2 The development of language specific prosodic preferences during the first half year of life and its relation to later lexical development: Evidence from German and French
Barbara Höhle, Universität Potsdam Institut für Linguistik
Ranka Bijeljac-Babic, CNRS - Université Paris 5
Thierry Nazzi, CNRS - Université Paris 5
Birgit Herold, Universität Potsdam Institut für Linguistik
Jürgen Weissenborn, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Paper File
  We report the results of four experiments conducted with German and French infants addressing the question of when infants determine the predominant pattern for bisyllabic words in their surrounding language. We presented German 6- and 4-month-olds and French 6-month-olds with trochaic or iambic bisyllabics. The German 6-month-olds showed a preference for the trochaic pattern, but not the German 4-month-olds nor the French 6-month-olds. However, French 6-month-olds were able to discriminate trochaic from iambic bisyllables. This suggests that the preference for the language predominant pattern of word stress arises between the ages of 4 and 6 months in German. In French, in which there is little if any accentuation at the lexical level, 6-month-olds do not show a preference for any stress pattern, but are sensitive to acoustic differences between trochaic and iambic bisyllables.
Ian Watson, University of Oxford
Paper File
  The applicability of Flege’s Speech Learning Model (SLM) to simultaneous bilinguals is examined in two related experiments on the acquisition of the production and perception of the voicing contrast in simultaneous French-English bilinguals. The results show that the SLM can account for the data providing account is taken of the degree of bilinguals’ exposure to each language.

Back to Conference Schedule