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

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

Child Development of Adaptive Phonetic Gestures Observed in Vowel Devoicing

Satoshi Imaizumi (1), Kiyoko Fuwa (2), Yoko Shimura (2)

(1) Dept. of Speech and Cognitive Sciences, University of Tokyo, Japan
(2) Faculty of Education, Saitama University, Saitama, Japan

The developmental properties of vowel devoicing were investigated for 72 children of 4 and 5 years of age, and 37 adults in two dialects of Japanese. One was the Osaka dialect, with a low devoicing rate, and the other the Tokyo dialect, with a high devoicing rate. In the Tokyo dialect, the devoicing rate of children significantly increased and reached an adult-like level by the age of 5 years, whereas it remained low irrespective of age in Osaka. The vowel devoicing of 5 year-old children exhibited the same characteristics as that of the adults of their respective dialect. These results suggest that children growing up with the Tokyo dialect acquire the articulatory gestures which do not inhibit vowel devoicing by the age of 5 years, whereas children growing up with the Osaka dialect acquire those which inhibit the devoicing of vowels by the same age.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Imaizumi, Satoshi / Fuwa, Kiyoko / Shimura, Yoko (1999): "Child development of adaptive phonetic gestures observed in vowel devoicing", In ICPhS-14, 2205-2208.