15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003


First Accent Acquisition: A Study of Phonetic Variation in Child-Directed Speech

Dominic Watt (1), Gerard J. Docherty (2), Paul Foulkes (3)

(1) University of Aberdeen, UK
(2) University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
(3) University of York, UK

The findings discussed in this paper emerge from a project focused on the speech of 40 English children aged between 2 and 4, the chief aim of which was to track the path taken by children in learning variable phonetic forms in their acquisition of the accent of their immediate community. We present initial results from an analysis of the linguistic input the children receive from their mothers, focusing on realisations of (t) in child-directed speech. This material revealed differential patterns in mothers' speech depending on the sex and age of the child addressee.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Watt, Dominic / Docherty, Gerard J. / Foulkes, Paul (2003): "First accent acquisition: a study of phonetic variation in child-directed speech", In ICPhS-15, 1959-1962.