Effects of Caregiver Prosody on Child Language Acquisition

Soroush Vosoughi, Brandon Roy, Michael C. Frank, Deb Roy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

This paper investigates the role of prosody in one child's lexical acquisition using an ecologically valid, high-density, longitudinal corpus. The corpus consists of high fidelity recordings collected from microphones embedded throughout the home of a family with a young child. We analyze data collected continuously from ages 9 – 24 months, including the child's first productive use of language at about 11 months and ending at the child's active use of more than 500 words. We found significant correlations between prosody of caregivers' speech and age of acquisition for individual words.