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ERIC Number: EJ1060003
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Apr
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
Phonetic Modification of Vowel Space in Storybook Speech to Infants up to 2 Years of Age
Burnham, Evamarie B.; Wieland, Elizabeth A.; Kondaurova, Maria V.; McAuley, J. Devin; Bergeson, Tonya R.; Dilley, Laura C.
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v58 n2 p241-253 Apr 2015
Purpose: A large body of literature has indicated vowel space area expansion in infant-directed (ID) speech compared with adult-directed (AD) speech, which may promote language acquisition. The current study tested whether this expansion occurs in storybook speech read to infants at various points during their first 2 years of life. Method: In 2 studies, mothers read a storybook containing target vowels in ID and AD speech conditions. Study 1 was longitudinal, with 11 mothers recorded when their infants were 3, 6, and 9 months old. Study 2 was cross-sectional, with 48 mothers recorded when their infants were 3, 9, 13, or 20 months old (n = 12 per group). The 1st and 2nd formants of vowels /i/, /?/, and /u/ were measured, and vowel space area and dispersion were calculated. Results: Across both studies, 1st and/or 2nd formant frequencies shifted systematically for /i/ and /u/ vowels in ID compared with AD speech. No difference in vowel space area or dispersion was found. Conclusions: The results suggest that a variety of communication and situational factors may affect phonetic modifications in ID speech, but that vowel space characteristics in speech to infants stay consistent across the first 2 years of life.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). 10801 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. Tel: 800-638-8255; Fax: 301-571-0457; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: R01 DC 008581