ERIC Number: EJ1018617
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jan
Abstractor: As Provided
Phonetic Variation in Consonants in Infant-Directed and Adult-Directed Speech: The Case of Regressive Place Assimilation in Word-Final Alveolar Stops
Dilley, Laura C.; Millett, Amanda L.; McAuley, J. Devin; Bergeson, Tonya R.
Journal of Child Language, v41 n1 p155-175 Jan 2014
Pronunciation variation is under-studied in infant-directed speech, particularly for consonants. Regressive place assimilation involves a word-final alveolar stop taking the place of articulation of a following word-initial consonant. We investigated pronunciation variation in word-final alveolar stop consonants in storybooks read by forty-eight mothers in adult-directed or infant-directed style to infants aged approximately 0;3, 0;9, 1;1, or 1;8. We focused on phonological environments where regressive place assimilation could occur, i.e., when the stop preceded a word-initial labial or velar consonant. Spectrogram, waveform, and perceptual evidence was used to classify tokens into four pronunciation categories: canonical, assimilated, glottalized, or deleted. Results showed a reliable tendency for canonical variants to occur in infant-directed speech more often than in adult-directed speech. However, the otherwise very similar distributions of variants across addressee and age group suggested that infants largely experience statistical distributions of non-canonical consonantal pronunciation variants that mirror those experienced by adults.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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