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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Mutual Imitation of Fundamental Frequency in Parent-Infant Vocal Interactions

Sachiyo Kajikawa, Shigeaki Amano

NTT Corporation, Japan

This study examined the mutual imitation of the fundamental frequency (F0) in mother-infant and father-infant vocal interactions. It has been considered that infants imitate the mean F0 of adult vocalizations. However, some recent studies have shown that infants do not imitate the parents' mean F0, although parents imitate the infants' mean F0. In the present study, we investigated the correlations of the F0 in mother-infant and father-infant pairs to clarify whether infants and parents mutually imitate each other's F0. The vocalizations of two Japanese infants and their parents were recorded in the home, and were analyzed every three months from 0 to 24 months of age. The results show that correlations of the mean F0 were observed at the age of 6-24 months in the mother-infant pairs rather than in the father-infant pairs. Because the infants did not adjust their absolute F0 to their parents' F0, we concluded that infants imitate changes of their parents' F0 within their own F0 ranges.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Kajikawa, Sachiyo / Amano, Shigeaki (2003): "Mutual imitation of fundamental frequency in parent-infant vocal interactions", In ICPhS-15, 1999-2002.