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Academic Paper


Title: Age-related changes in acoustic modifications of Mandarin maternal speech to preverbal infants and five-year-old children: a longitudinal study
Author: Huei-mei Liu
Institution: National Taiwan Normal University
Author: Feng-ming Tsao
Institution: National Taiwan University
Author: Patricia K. Kuhl
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://ilabs.washington.edu
Institution: University of Washington
Linguistic Field: Phonology; Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: Chinese, Mandarin
Abstract: Acoustic-phonetic exaggeration of infant-directed speech (IDS) is well documented, but few studies address whether these features are modified with a child's age. Mandarin-speaking mothers were recorded while addressing an adult and their child at two ages (0 ; 7–1 ; 0 and 5 ; 0) to examine the acoustic-phonetic differences between IDS and child-directed speech (CDS). CDS exhibits an exaggeration pattern resembling that of IDS – expanded vowel space, longer vowels, higher pitch and greater lexical tone differences – when compared to ADS. Longitudinal analysis demonstrated that the extent of acoustic exaggeration is significantly smaller in CDS than in IDS. Age-related changes in maternal speech provide some support for the hypothesis that mothers adjust their speech directed toward children as a function of the child's language ability.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of Child Language Vol. 36, Issue 4, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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