Document Detail

Is there a "trochaic bias" in early word learning? Evidence from infant production in English and French.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9768479     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Studies of speech perception and segmentation in the prelinguistic period, early word production, and patterns of function word omission in early syntax have all recently emphasized the role of the trochaic accentual pattern in English, sometimes positing a universal trochaic bias. We make use of perceptual and acoustic analyses of words and babble from 9 children acquiring English and 5 acquiring French in the late single-word period (13-20 months) to provide a direct test for the existence of such a bias. Neither English nor French infant vocalizations were exclusively trochaic. The iambic productions of American infants were traced to the presence of iambic phrases in the input. Differences between English and French in the acoustic realization of accent in infant vocalizations were also traceable to adult patterns. However, the almost bipolar distribution of trochaic and iambic patterns in the data from English-learning infants was ultimately traceable to the integration of prosodic and segmental patterning in individual child word production templates, themselves arguably the product of an earlier acting articulatory filter.
M M Vihman; R A DePaolis; B L Davis
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Child development     Volume:  69     ISSN:  0009-3920     ISO Abbreviation:  Child Dev     Publication Date:  1998 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1998-11-23     Completed Date:  1998-11-23     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0372725     Medline TA:  Child Dev     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  935-49     Citation Subset:  IM    
School of Psychology, University of Wales, Bangor, Gwynedd, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Language Development*
Longitudinal Studies
Maternal Behavior
Social Environment*
Speech / classification,  physiology*
Time Factors
Voice / physiology
Grant Support

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