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Is prosodic production driven by lexical development ? Longitudinal evidence from babble and words

De Clerk, I., Pettinato, M., Verhoeven, J. & Gillis, S. (2017). Is prosodic production driven by lexical development ? Longitudinal evidence from babble and words. Journal of Child Language, 44(5), pp. 1248-1273. doi: 10.1017/s0305000916000532


This study investigated the relation between lexical development and the production of prosodic prominence in disyllabic babble and words. Monthly recordings from nine typically developing Belgian-Dutch-speaking infants were analysed from the onset of babbling until a cumulative vocabulary of 200 words was reached. The differentiation between the two syllables of isolated disyllabic utterances was computed for f0, intensity and duration measurements. Results showed that the ambient trochaic pattern emerged in babble, but became enhanced in words. Words showed more prosodic differentiation in terms of f0 and intensity and a more even duration ratio. Age or vocabulary size did not predict the expansion of f0 or intensity in words, whereas vocabulary size was related to the production of more even-timed syllables. The findings are discussed in terms of lexicalist accounts of phonetic development and a potential phonetic highlighting function of first words.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright Cambridge Journals, 2016. Reprinted with permission.
Publisher Keywords: Prosodic development, Babbling, Early words
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Language & Communication Science
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of s1-ln24422126-1915135374-1939656818Hwf1271354036IdV-199665902224422126PDF_HI0001-2.pdf]
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