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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: Segmental distribution patterns of English infant- and adult-directed speech
Author: Sue Ann S Lee
Institution: Oklahoma State University
Author: Barbara L. Davis
Institution: University of Texas at Austin
Linguistic Field: Discourse Analysis
Abstract: This study compared segmental distribution patterns for consonants and vowels in English infant-directed speech (IDS) and adult-directed speech (ADS). A previous study of Korean indicated that segmental patterns of IDS differed from ADS patterns (Lee, Davis & MacNeilage, ). The aim of the current study was to determine whether such differences in Korean are universal or language-specific. Results indicate that consonant distribution patterns of English IDS were significantly different from English ADS. Speakers who used IDS produced fewer fricatives, affricates, nasals and liquids, but more stops and glides, than speakers who used ADS. In terms of vowels, IDS speakers produced more high-back vowels /u Ʊ/ and /ɔ/ diphthongs than ADS speakers. These results indicate both general trends and language-specific segmental distribution patterns in IDS. When compared to previous findings on ADS and IDS in Korean, these results for English give support to a more general assertion that segmental distribution patterns in IDS seem to be mediated by linguistic and cultural factors across languages.


This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 37, Issue 4.

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