Quantifying developmental changes of prosodic categories

Britta Lintfert, Antje Schweitzer, Lukasz Wolski, Bernd Möbius, Institute of Natural Language Processing

The aim of this case study is to introduce a new automatic method for describing the development of prosodic categories in speech acquisition. We use the PaIntE model (Parametrized Intonation Events) to examine fine phonetic detail in one child's F0 contours at several stages between 7 and 22 months of age. The variability in these contours is quantified using K-means clustering. In contrast to traditional contour-based or autosegmental-metrical based descriptions of the development of intonation, this method can be applied to both babbling and more complex multi-word utterances, which is favorable for longitudinal studies of intonation in child speech.