Hypo-articulation of the four-way voicing contrast in Nepali infant-directed speech

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Hyper-articulation of vowel and consonant contrasts is often reported in infant-directed speech (IDS), but is not universal cross-linguistically, and may be a side-effect of speaking rate. This study investigated the voicing characteristics of the four-way oral stop voicing contrast in Nepali IDS. Both lead and lag time of word-onset/ɡ, ɡʱ, k, kʱ/were measured in the IDS and adult-directed speech (ADS) of 16 Nepali-speaking mothers. The lower prevalence of contrastive prevoicing and shorter lead times in IDS compared to ADS indicate hypo-articulated voicing contrasts. Shorter overall lag times in IDS suggest that stop consonants are less salient in IDS compared to ADS. These results cannot be explained as a side-effect of speaking rate, but rather suggest an increased salience for vowels compared to consonants within the IDS syllable. The implications for the acquisition of voicing contrasts are discussed.

LanguageEnglish
Pages232-254
Number of pages23
JournalLanguage Learning and Development
Volume15
Issue number3
Early online date27 Feb 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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infant
speaking
Articulation
Infant-directed Speech
Voicing
time
Consonant

Cite this

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title = "Hypo-articulation of the four-way voicing contrast in Nepali infant-directed speech",
abstract = "Hyper-articulation of vowel and consonant contrasts is often reported in infant-directed speech (IDS), but is not universal cross-linguistically, and may be a side-effect of speaking rate. This study investigated the voicing characteristics of the four-way oral stop voicing contrast in Nepali IDS. Both lead and lag time of word-onset/ɡ, ɡʱ, k, kʱ/were measured in the IDS and adult-directed speech (ADS) of 16 Nepali-speaking mothers. The lower prevalence of contrastive prevoicing and shorter lead times in IDS compared to ADS indicate hypo-articulated voicing contrasts. Shorter overall lag times in IDS suggest that stop consonants are less salient in IDS compared to ADS. These results cannot be explained as a side-effect of speaking rate, but rather suggest an increased salience for vowels compared to consonants within the IDS syllable. The implications for the acquisition of voicing contrasts are discussed.",
author = "Titia Benders and Sujal Pokharel and Katherine Demuth",
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Hypo-articulation of the four-way voicing contrast in Nepali infant-directed speech. / Benders, Titia; Pokharel, Sujal; Demuth, Katherine.

In: Language Learning and Development, Vol. 15, No. 3, 2019, p. 232-254.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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AU - Benders, Titia

AU - Pokharel, Sujal

AU - Demuth, Katherine

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N2 - Hyper-articulation of vowel and consonant contrasts is often reported in infant-directed speech (IDS), but is not universal cross-linguistically, and may be a side-effect of speaking rate. This study investigated the voicing characteristics of the four-way oral stop voicing contrast in Nepali IDS. Both lead and lag time of word-onset/ɡ, ɡʱ, k, kʱ/were measured in the IDS and adult-directed speech (ADS) of 16 Nepali-speaking mothers. The lower prevalence of contrastive prevoicing and shorter lead times in IDS compared to ADS indicate hypo-articulated voicing contrasts. Shorter overall lag times in IDS suggest that stop consonants are less salient in IDS compared to ADS. These results cannot be explained as a side-effect of speaking rate, but rather suggest an increased salience for vowels compared to consonants within the IDS syllable. The implications for the acquisition of voicing contrasts are discussed.

AB - Hyper-articulation of vowel and consonant contrasts is often reported in infant-directed speech (IDS), but is not universal cross-linguistically, and may be a side-effect of speaking rate. This study investigated the voicing characteristics of the four-way oral stop voicing contrast in Nepali IDS. Both lead and lag time of word-onset/ɡ, ɡʱ, k, kʱ/were measured in the IDS and adult-directed speech (ADS) of 16 Nepali-speaking mothers. The lower prevalence of contrastive prevoicing and shorter lead times in IDS compared to ADS indicate hypo-articulated voicing contrasts. Shorter overall lag times in IDS suggest that stop consonants are less salient in IDS compared to ADS. These results cannot be explained as a side-effect of speaking rate, but rather suggest an increased salience for vowels compared to consonants within the IDS syllable. The implications for the acquisition of voicing contrasts are discussed.

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