Session L1 Acquisition III:
First Language Acquisition III
|L1 Acquisition III-1
PERCEPTUAL CATEGORIZATION OF SYNTHESIZED ENGLISH VOWELS FROM BIRTH TO ADULTHOOD
Lucie Ménard, Laboratoire de phonétique, Université du Québec à Montréal
Barbara L. Davis, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, The University of Texas at Austin
Louis-Jean Boë, Institut de la Communication Parlée
|The experiment reported in this paper is aimed at determining the influence of non uniform vocal tract growth on the ability to reach acoustic-perceptual targets in English. An articulatory-to-acoustic model integrating non uniform vocal tract growth has been exploited to synthesize 342 5-formant vowels, covering maximal vowel spaces produced by speakers at 5 growth stages: newborn, 4 years old, 10 years old, 16 years old, and 21 years old (adult stage). 37 American English speakers served as subjects in a perceptual categorization experiment. Results show that the three cardinal vowels /i u a/ can be produced by speakers with a newborn-like vocal tract. It is suggested that articulatory-to-acoustic relationships for a given vowel may differ across growth stages.
|L1 Acquisition III-2
Intonational realisation of topic and focus by Dutch-acquiring 4- to 5-year-olds
Aoju Chen, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
|This study examined how Dutch-acquiring 4- to 5-year-olds use pitch accent types and deaccentuation to mark topic and focus at the sentence level and how they differ from adults. The topic and focus were non-contrastive and realized as full NPs. A picture-matching game was designed to elicit topic-focus structures. It was found that children realise topic and focus similarly frequently with H*L, whereas adults use H*L more frequently in focus than in topic in sentence-initial position and nearly only in focus in sentence-final position. Further, children frequently realise topic with accentuation, whereas adults mostly deaccent sentence-final topic and use H*L and H* to realise sentence-initial topic because of rhythmic motivation. These results show that 4- and 5-year-olds have not acquired H*L as the typical focus accent and deaccentuation as the typical topic intonation.
|L1 Acquisition III-3
German 5-year-olds' intonational marking of information status
Laura E. Herbst, MPI for Psycholinguistics
|This paper reports on findings from an elicited production task with German 5-year-old children, investigating their use of intonation to mark information status of discourse referents. In line with findings for adults, new referents were preferably marked by H* and L+H*; textually given referents were mainly deaccented. Accessible referents (whose first mentions were less recent) were mostly accented, and predominantly also realised with H* and L+H*, showing children’s sensitivity to recency of mention. No evidence for the consistent use of a special ‘accessibility accent’ H+L* (as has been proposed for adult German) was found.
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