In this paper we analyze the relation between adults' intona- tional categories as described in the ToBI framework and chil- dren's intonation contours, using a parametric approach and cluster evaluation methods. In the field of prosody, an increas- ing number of studies on the development of intonation apply the intonational categories of adult speech described as a se- quence of high (H) and low (L) tones to child speech. However, the categories described by ToBI or by its language- specific variants are developed for adult speakers. Instead of imposing adult category representations on the description of de- velopmental stages in L1 intonation acquisition, we propose and validate a parametric approach and cluster evaluation methods that are applicable to both adult and child speech. First, we show that clusters of parametrized contours obtained from German adult-directed and child-directed speech correlate well with GToBI(S) categories. We then assess how well clusters at different stages of intonation acquisition correspond to adult tar- get categories. Our results indicate that the proposed methodol- ogy is capable of demonstrating, in qualitative and quantitative terms, the continuous development of intonational categories at early ages towards adult target categories.
Index Terms: development of intonation, F0 parametrization, GToBI(S), clustering, adult targets
Bibliographic reference. Lintfert, Britta / Möbius, Bernd (2012): "Describing the development of intonational categories using a target-oriented parametric approach", In INTERSPEECH-2012, 1965-1968.