14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)
San Francisco, CA, USA
Although rhythm may provide a basic grid for the acquisition of language, experimental studies investigating its development are scarce. In this paper, we examine the rhythmic patterns produced by 4-year-old French and English children and their mothers. In utterances of minimally four syllables, vowel durations were measured, and a rhythm index was calculated which expresses the degree of variability between successive vowel durations. The results show
Our findings are in accord with traditional descriptions of French and English as syllable- and stress-timed respectively, and show that 4-year-old French children appear to have acquired the syllable-timed rhythm of French, but 4-year-old English children have not acquired the stress-timed rhythm of English.
Bibliographic reference. Grabe, Esther / Post, Brechtje / Watson, Ian (1999): "The acquisition of rhythmic patterns in English and French", In ICPhS-14, 1201-1204.