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J Child Lang. 2009 Jan;36(1):73-84. doi: 10.1017/S0305000908008878. Epub 2008 Aug 27.

Development of prosodic patterns in Mandarin-learning infants.

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National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan, ROC.


Early prosodic development (f0 variation) was systematically measured in Mandarin-learning infants at the transition from babbling to producing first words. Spontaneous vocalizations of twenty-four infants aged 0 ; 7 to 1 ; 6 were recorded in 45-minute sessions. The speech production of twenty-four caregivers was also audio-recorded during caregiver-infant natural daily interactions at home. All recordings were transcribed using broad prosodic patterns. Analysis revealed four major findings: (1) falling f0 contours were more prominently produced than level and rising contours; (2) high prosodic patterns occurred more frequently than mid and low prosodic patterns; (3) these distribution patterns of f0 contours showed significant similarities in babbling and early words; and (4) these distribution patterns were also similar in infants' and their caregivers' data.

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