ERIC Number: ED192596
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: 0
An Instrumental Analysis of the Voicing Contrast in Word-Initial Stops in the Speech of Four-Year-Old English-Speaking Children. Papers and Reports on Child Language Development, Number 18.
Barton, David; Macken, Marlys A.
This paper reports on an investigation of the voice-onset-time (VOT) characteristics of word-initial stops produced by four four-year-old children. Instrumental analysis of the children's spontaneous speech showed that they had distinct distributions for voiced and voiceless stops at all three places of articulation and that there was very little overlap between voiced and voiceless cognates. Comparison of words uttered in isolation with words uttered in a sentence context revealed that these children had shorter VOT values in running speech. Reanalysis of data from younger children showed evidence of such modification according to context at age 1;9. However, even at age four the data were not completely adult-like: compared with adults, the four-year-olds had longer mean VOT values, there was a greater range of values, and there was less modification according to sentence context. The four-year-olds' data were interpreted as further evidence for the position that in producing voiceless stops in terms of mean VOT values, children first overshoot adult values and then only gradually draw them back towards adult values. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Dept. of Linguistics.
Note: Part of a larger study of the acquisition of the voicing contrast in English, Spanish, and Cantonese.