National Acoustic Laboratories Library

Emergence of the corner vowels in the babble produced by infants exposed to Canadian English or Canadian French

Contributor(s): Susan Rvachew..[et.al]Material type: TextTextOnline resources: Click here to access online In: Journal of Phonetics 36 (2008) 564–577Abstract: This paperexaminedtheemergenceofcornervowels([i],[u],[æ]and[a]) intheinfantvowelspacesandtheinfluenceof the ambientlanguageonbabbling,inparticular,onthefrequencyofoccurrenceofthecornervowels.Speechsampleswere recorded from51Canadianinfantsfrom8to18monthsofage,respectively,English-learninginfants(n ¼ 24) andFrench- learning infants(n ¼ 27). Theacousticparameters(F1andF2)ofeachcodableinfantvowelwereanalyzedandthenused to plotallthevowelsalongthe diffuse–compact (F2F1) and grave–acute dimensions ([F1+F2]/2).Listenerjudgmentsof vowel categorywereobtainedforthemostextremevowelsineachinfant’svowelspace,i.e.,the10%vowelswithminimum or maximum diffuse–compact and grave–acute values. Thejudgmentsofadultlisteners,bothanglophone(n ¼ 5) and francophone (n ¼ 5), confirmed the peripheral expansion of infant vowel space toward the diffuse and grave corners with age. Furthermore,English-learning infants were judged by both English and French-speaking listener stoproduce a greater frequency of [u ]in the grave corner, incomparison with French-learning infants.The higher proportion o f[u]in English sample was observed throughout the agerange suggesting the influence of ambient language at a young age.
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This paperexaminedtheemergenceofcornervowels([i],[u],[æ]and[a]) intheinfantvowelspacesandtheinfluenceof
the ambientlanguageonbabbling,inparticular,onthefrequencyofoccurrenceofthecornervowels.Speechsampleswere
recorded from51Canadianinfantsfrom8to18monthsofage,respectively,English-learninginfants(n ¼ 24) andFrench-
learning infants(n ¼ 27). Theacousticparameters(F1andF2)ofeachcodableinfantvowelwereanalyzedandthenused
to plotallthevowelsalongthe diffuse–compact (F2F1) and grave–acute dimensions ([F1+F2]/2).Listenerjudgmentsof
vowel categorywereobtainedforthemostextremevowelsineachinfant’svowelspace,i.e.,the10%vowelswithminimum
or maximum diffuse–compact and grave–acute values. Thejudgmentsofadultlisteners,bothanglophone(n ¼ 5) and
francophone (n ¼ 5), confirmed the peripheral expansion of infant vowel space toward the diffuse and grave corners with
age. Furthermore,English-learning infants were judged by both English and French-speaking listener stoproduce a
greater frequency of [u ]in the grave corner, incomparison with French-learning infants.The higher proportion o f[u]in
English sample was observed throughout the agerange suggesting the influence of ambient language at a young age.

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