Tonal word accents produced by Swedish 18- and 24-month-olds  

Kadin, G. & Engstrand, O.

In the Proceedings of Fonetik 2005, Göteborg, 25-27 May 2005: 67-70.

Abstract

F0 measurements were made of disyllabic words produced by several Swedish and Ameri-can English 18- and 24-month-olds. The Swed-ish 24- and 18-monthers produced accent con-tours that were similar in shape and timing to those found in adult speech. The Swedish 18-monthers, however, produced very few words with the acute accent. It is concluded that most Swedish children have acquired a productive command of the word accent contrast by 24 years of age and that, at 18 months, most chil-dren display clear tonal ambient-language ef-fects. The influence of the ambient language is evident in view of the F0 contours produced by the American English children whose timing of F0 events tended to be intermediate between the Swedish grave and acute contours. The relative consistency with which grave accent contours were produced by the Swedish 18-monthers suggest that some children are influenced by the ambient language well before that age.

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