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Acquisition of Phonetics and Phonology

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  1. Acquisition of Phonetics and Phonology Presenters: Silvia Becker (LN Hauptstudium) Alice Mazurek (TN Hauptstudium)

  2. Contents • Introduction • Infant Speech Perception • Production • Early Speech Production • Morphology

  3. Introduction • Phonetics: study of the characteristics of speech sounds • Phonology: description of the system and patterns of speech sounds; mental aspect of the sounds in a language • Morphology: study of forms; analyzes basic elements of language

  4. Infant Speech Perception • Experimental paradigms for testing infants • Categorical perception of infants • Other speech perception abilities of infants • Changes in perception over the course of the first year of life

  5. General Information on Infant Speech Perception • Rich field of study • Ability of infants to recognize differences in speakers when relevant and to ignore it, when not relevant • Ability to differenciate utterances of the infant‘s native language from those of foreign languages

  6. Infant Speech Perception • Fundamental problem: determining what constitutes a sound in the target language • First step: perceiving destinctions between sounds and perceiving speech as phonetic categories

  7. Experimental Paradigms for Testing Infants • Four experimental paradigms: 1) Measuring heart rate 2) Measuring sucking rate 3) Visual Fixation Procedure 4) The Head Turn Preference Procedure

  8. Categorical Perception of Infants • Young infants perceive consonants categorically • Voiced Onset Time (VOT) - prevoiced - voiced or voiceless unaspirated - voiceless (aspirated)

  9. Other Speech Perception Abilities of Infants • From birth infants are sensitive to many phonetic distinctions • Vowel distinction

  10. Changes in Perception over the Course of the First Year of Life • Distinguish contrasts which are non- phonemic in the target language  distinguish only phonemic distinctions in the target language • Lose their perceptual abilities for non-native sounds as their babbling begins to take on characteristics of the input language

  11. Language and the MindProf. R. Hickey SS 2006Acquisition of phonology Schmidt, Anke Schmidt, Sarah (Grundstudium LN) (Hauptstudium LN)

  12. Overview • Production of sounds • Babbling • Early speech production • Building a system of contrasts • Phonological processes • The importance of the stressed syllable • Summary • References

  13. Production of sounds Babbling • sounds constrained by anatomy of vocal tract • configured for vegetative requirements: sucking, breathing, burping, crying • larynx higher • shorter pharyngeal cavity • tongue relatively big

  14. Production of sounds Babbling • 2-4 months: • begin to coo, laugh • no speech sounds produced

  15. Production of soundsBabbling • 4-5 months: • vocal tract reconfigures • begin to babble • speech- like sounds • stimulated by speech of others • babbling lacks spectral, temporal characteristics

  16. Production of sounds Babbling • 6-7 months: • “canonical babbling” • consonant & vowel sounds • characteristics of “real” cv • often reduplicated • e.g. bababa or gaga

  17. Speech productionBuilding a system of contrasts • Development of children´s inventories: • Minimal consonant inventory

  18. Speech productionBuilding a system of contrasts • Development of children´s inventories: • Embodiment of additional features

  19. Speech productionBuilding a system of contrasts • Development of children´s inventories: • Voicing becomes a contrastive feature

  20. Speech productionBuilding a system of contrasts • Development of children´s inventories: • May then incorporate nasality

  21. Speech productionBuilding a system of contrasts • Sonorant constraining contrasts: • relationship between adult´s and child´s pronunciation:

  22. Speech productionBuilding a system of contrasts • Additional contrasts to sonorants

  23. Speech productionBuilding a system of contrasts •  more familiar phonetic feature matrix

  24. Speech productionPhonological processes • Substitution processes • Stopping • fricatives [ f, v, 2, 3, s, z, $, g ] replaced with stop consonant [ p, b, t, d, k, g ] • <sea> [ ti:] • <sing> [ tin ]

  25. Speech productionPhonological processes • Substitution processes • Fronting • velar [ k, g, n ], palatal sounds [ c ] replaced with alveolar consonants [ t, d, n, l, s, z ] • <goose> [ du:s ] • <goat> [ dut ]

  26. Speech productionPhonological processes • Substitution processes • Gliding • glide [ w, j ] substituted for liquid sound [ l, r ] • <ready> [ wedi ] • <lap> [ j@p ]

  27. Speech productionPhonological processes • Substitution processes • Vocalization • Vowel neutralization

  28. Speech productionPhonological processes • Assimilatory processes • Voicing • two separate processes: • consonants tend to be voiced when preceding a vowel • devoiced at the end of a syllable • <paper> [ beibq ] • <bed> [ bet ]

  29. Speech productionPhonological processes • Assimilatory processes • Consonant harmony • in C1VC2 contexts, consonants tend to assimilate to each other • three frequent patterns

  30. Speech productionPhonological processes • Assimilatory processes • Consonant harmony • velar assimilation • apical consonants tend to assimilate to a neighbouring velar consonant • <duck> [ gvk ] • <tongue> [ gvn ]

  31. Speech productionPhonological processes • Assimilatory processes • Consonant harmony • labial assimilation • apical consonants tend to assimilate to a neighbouring labial consonant • <tub> [ bvb ] • <steps> [ beps ]

  32. Speech productionPhonological processes • Assimilatory processes • Progressive vowel assimilation • unstressed vowel assimilates to a preceding stressed vowel • <flower> [ /fá:wa ] • <hammer> [ /ha:ma ]

  33. Speech productionPhonological processes • Syllable structure processes • Specific phonological processes • To simplify syllable structure • Towards a basic CV syllable

  34. Speech productionPhonological processes • Syllable structure processes • Cluster reduction • consonant cluster is reduced to single consonant • <dress> [ des ] • <clown> [ kaun ] • German: (to write) <schreiben> [ saibqn ]

  35. Speech productionPhonological processes • Syllable structure processes • Deletion of final consonants • CVC consonant is reduced to CV • <bike> [ bai ] • <more> [ mv ]

  36. Speech productionPhonological processes • Syllable structure processes • Deletion of unstressed syllables • Reduplication

  37. Speech productionThe importance of the stressed syllable • children know there are words • don’t know structure • problem: speech signal is continuous • initially no lexicon • Must apply system for segmenting signal into words

  38. Speech productionThe importance of the stressed syllable • “metrical segmentation strategy” • structure characterizes language • explicit segmentation • understanding word boundaries • English template: • first syllable of content word is stressed • major role in defining boundaries

  39. Speech productionThe importance of the stressed syllable • bi- syllabic words: • reduce target to single syllable: • stressed syllable • when second syllable stressed: • preservation of first segment of word, not syllable • more than stressed syllable is represented in lexical entries

  40. Speech productionThe importance of the stressed syllable target child’s pronunciation balloon [bu] [bun] [bum] [bu:n] guitar [tar] [ga] [ga:r]

  41. Speech productionThe importance of the stressed syllable • polysyllabic words • hypothesis: • bias for final syllables • e.g. tri-syllabic • final rime preserved • second syllable stressed

  42. Speech productionThe importance of the stressed syllable target child’s pronunciation remember [memq] [membq] another [nv3Q] [nvdQ] [nv2Q] [nv:Q]

  43. Speech productionThe importance of the stressed syllable • first syllable stressed: • final rime target = final rime child • stressed syllable target= stressed syllable child

  44. Speech productionThe importance of the stressed syllable target child’s pronunciation elephant [/efent] [/efvnt] [/e:fint] [/e:fvnt] medicine [/mesin] [/me:sin]

  45. Summary • Production of sounds • Babbling: first imitation of consonants and vowels • Early speech production • Building a system of contrasts: important to distinguish between sounds and therefore words, it shows how the child learns to place sounds into categories • Phonological processes: the children undergo several processes in order to acquire the huge variety of the language's phonology • The importance of the stressed syllable: children use stress to locate word boundaries

  46. References • Bußmann, Hadumod. 2002. Lexikon der Sprachwissenschaft. 3rd edition. Stuttgart: Alfred Kröner Verlag. • Dretzke, Burkhard (1998). Modern British and American English Pronunciation. A Basic Textbook. Paderborn u.a.: Schöningh • Fletcher, Paul and Michael Garman (eds) (1989) Language acquisition. Studies in first language development. 2nd edition. (Cambridge: University Press). • A. Fromkin et al. (2000). Linguistics. An Introduction to Linguistic Theory. Massachussets: Oxford University Press.

  47. Thank you for your attention!

  48. The Acquisition of English Morphology Martina Kleinebreil (TN) Grundstudium Adam von Wald (TN) Grundstudium

  49. Definition:Morphology is concerned with the study of word forms or the internal structure of words and the process of word formation.

  50. A morpheme is the smallest unit which carries meaning.e.g. talk  talk-ing  talk-s  talk-ed