ERIC Number: ED222060
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Intensity Accents in French 2 Year Olds' Speech.
Allen, George D.
The acoustic features and functions of accentuation in French are discussed, and features of accentuation in the speech of French 2-year-olds are explored. The four major acoustic features used to signal accentual distinctions are fundamental frequency of voicing, duration of segments and syllables, intensity of segments and syllables, and frequency spectrum of segments. These phonetic features are used in different patterns by different languages. The speech of six 2-year-old monolingual French children was recorded and analyzed for variability and non-standard patterning in the use of intensity and accentuation. The data show the expected variability in use of acoustic phonetic features. The children appeared to be tending toward correct use of intensity and frequency of voicing patterns, but in fewer than 30 percent of their utterances did they produce a totally acceptable prosodic contour. Part of this variability in children's prosodic contours may be due to an inability to separate their respiratory and phonatory mechanisms in speech production or a universal perceptuo-motor tendency to produce words with a stress accent on the first syllable, a tendency in opposition to the normal pattern of French words. (RW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Dept. of Linguistics.
Note: In its: Papers and Reports on Child Language Development, Number 21, p119-124.