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

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


From Idiosyncratic Pure Frames to Variegated Babbling: Evidence from Articulatory Modelling

Anne Vilain, Christian Abry, Pierre Badin, Stefanie Brosda

Institut de la Communication Parlée (ICP), Grenoble, France

The "Frames then Content" theory describes babbling as the first emergence of speech with syllable-like rhythm, under the form of "pure" and "fronted frames". "Pure frames" consist of a labial closure due to a simple mandibular oscillation, without any proper control of carried articulators. Whereas the "fronted" frames associate a fronting movement of the tongue with that jaw movement, resulting in a coronal closure. We tested this hypothesis with three articulatory models each based on X-rays from a different speaker. These simulations account for concurrent labial and coronal frames, in different babbling databases, as different idiosyncratic pure mandibular frames. The resultant forms depend on: (i) one central command, (ii) the peripheral babies' morphology, (iii) biological noise, peripheral and central. The integration of this biological noise into control signals could achieve the next step in speech development, i.e. the acquisition of segmental independence, through the control of carried articulators.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Vilain, Anne / Abry, Christian / Badin, Pierre / Brosda, Stefanie (1999): "From idiosyncratic pure frames to variegated babbling: evidence from articulatory modelling", In ICPhS-14, 2497-2500.