13th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Portland, OR, USA
September 9-13, 2012

Prosodic Marking of Continuation Versus Completion in Childrenfs Narratives

Melissa A. Redford (1), Laura C. Dilley (2,3), Jessica L. Gamache (3), Elizabeth A. Wieland (2)

(1) Department of Linguistics, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, USA
(2) Department of Comm. Sci. & Disorders, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA
(3) Department of Linguistics & Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA

Discourse prosody in school-aged childrenfs narratives was investigated to test for developmental changes in global prosodic structure and to characterize the key contrastive features for marking continuation versus completion. Spontaneous narratives were obtained from 42 children (5 to 7 years old) and 14 adult caregivers. The narratives were prosodically transcribed using a formal annotation system that relies on perceptual and acoustic analyses. Metalinguistic judgments of prosodic function and appropriateness were also obtained. Analyses examined the global prosodic structure emergent from metalinguistic judgments as well as the prosodic cues to continuation and completion. Results were that children marked phrases for completion less often and less appropriately than adults. Children and adults both used phrase-final tones and post-boundary pauses to mark continuation versus completion; however, childrenfs overall higher rate of pausing lessened the extent to which continuation and completion were differentiated through pausing.

Index Terms: speech acquisition, speech prosody, discourse prosody, prosodic boundaries

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Redford, Melissa A. / Dilley, Laura C. / Gamache, Jessica L. / Wieland, Elizabeth A. (2012): "Prosodic marking of continuation versus completion in childrenfs narratives", In INTERSPEECH-2012, 2494-2497.