Séminaire Simone FALK mercredi 1er juin 2011 16h00 – Salle 101 Pôle AAFE

Publié : 11 mai 11, 09:05 dans Séminaires.

Simone FALK
German Linguistics, Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich
" Does song cue linguistic structure during language acquisition ? A performance analysis of French, Russian and German infant-directed singing"

Infants learn important aspects of their native language in the first months of life via prosodic properties of the speech signal (“Prosodic Bootstrapping Hypothesis”). Spoken speech with infants is a well investigated research area in this respect. The properties of infant-directed sung speech, however, were so far not the focus of language acquisition research. This is quite surprising because sung speech occurs very frequently in child-care activities in the first year of life and it shares many properties with infant-directed speech which have been shown to be beneficial to speech perception in infants (e.g. slower articulation, salient pitch contours, regular rhythmic structure). In this presentation, I will give an overview over some performance properties of infant-directed singing and their possible relation to early steps in language acquisition. This will be done in a cross- linguistic perspective, i.e. by acoustic analysis of a rich corpus of German, French and Russian recordings of parents singing to their infants aged 2 to 13 months. The features discussed in this talk range from micro-prosodic segmental to macro-prosodic phrasal structure. First, I will show that segmental features of infant-directed singing as vowel space and variability/stability of vowels and consonants in the time-course of the signal underpin phonological aspects of the language and might enhance speech perception/word recognition. Second, it will be discussed how phrasal boundaries are marked in sung speech and how they could cue syntactic structure. Finally, I will give an outlook on ongoing experimental projects and ideas related to infant research concerning vowel structure/discrimination, and the perception of speech vs. music in the first year of life.

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