Phonetic variation in consonants

Laura C. Dilley, Amanda L. Millett, J. Devin McAuley, Tonya Bergeson-Dana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-173
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Child Language
Volume41
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2014

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Phonetics
phonetics
infant
assimilation
Statistical Distributions
Lip
age group
Age Groups
Mothers
Consonant
evidence
experience
Infant-directed Speech
Alveolar Stops

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Psychology(all)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

Cite this

Phonetic variation in consonants. / Dilley, Laura C.; Millett, Amanda L.; McAuley, J. Devin; Bergeson-Dana, Tonya.

In: Journal of Child Language, Vol. 41, No. 1, 01.2014, p. 153-173.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Dilley, LC, Millett, AL, McAuley, JD & Bergeson-Dana, T 2014, 'Phonetic variation in consonants', Journal of Child Language, vol. 41, no. 1, pp. 153-173. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0305000912000670
Dilley, Laura C. ; Millett, Amanda L. ; McAuley, J. Devin ; Bergeson-Dana, Tonya. / Phonetic variation in consonants. In: Journal of Child Language. 2014 ; Vol. 41, No. 1. pp. 153-173.
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