Early Acquisition of F0 Alignment and Scaling Patterns in Catalan and Spanish

Maria del Mar Vanrell, Pilar Prieto, Lluïsa Astruc, Elinor Payne, Brechtje Post, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Six Catalan-speaking and six Spanish-speaking children between the ages of 24 and 48 months participated in a controlled naming task to elicit statement intonation patterns. A total of 127 utterances were prosodically analyzed using Cat\_ToBI and Sp\_ToBI ([1], [2]) and phonetic analyses of tonal alignment and scaling were performed. Our results show that children as young as two can finely control tonal alignment, corroborating some recent results for Catalan, Spanish, English, and European Portuguese ([3], [4], [5], [6]). Importantly, children show a more precise development of tonal alignment than tonal scaling. The f0 scaling results show that the youngest children do not produce the target L\% boundary tone, confirming earlier observations on the high proportion of “level contours” in infant speech ([3], [4], [7]). Index Terms: acquisition of intonation, infant prosody, infant intonation, Catalan language, Spanish language.