14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999

The Early Acquisition of Prosody in Bilinguals' Weaker Language

You-Mi Han (1), Jean-Yves Dommergues (1,2)

(1) Laboratoire de Phonétique, Université Paris 7-Denis Diderot, France
(2) Université Paris 8, France

This study reports preliminary data on the acquistion of prosody in French, the weaker language of two Korean-French bilinguals. More specifically, it looks for prosodic correlates of semantic categories in two-word utterances spoken in French by these bilingual children. The results suggest that two differentiated prosodic systems emerge quite early and rapidly in young bilinguals. By age 3 and within a 9-month regular contact with French, the prosodic competence of our bilingual children in French, their weaker language, obviously displayed native-like similarities with that of a control French monolingual child. These results are discussed in relation to the current debate: one vs. two systems in young bilinguals?

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Han, You-Mi / Dommergues, Jean-Yves (1999): "The early acquisition of prosody in bilinguals' weaker language", In ICPhS-14, 1459-1461.