Speech Prosody 2002

Aix-en-Provence, France
April 11-13, 2002

Contribution of Prosody to the Segmentation and Storage of "Words" in the Acquisition of a New Mini-Language

Odile Bagou, Cécile Fougeron, Uli H. Frauenfelder

Laboratoire de Psycholinguistique Expérimentale, Université de Genève, Switzerland

This paper evaluates the relative contribution of two prosodic cues, lengthening and F0 contour, in the processes of speech segmentation and storage of new words. More precisely, we investigate the role of prosodic information in the acquisition by French learners of a mini-language constructed for the experiment. The results show that presence of prosodic information facilitates the speech segmentation and therefore, the acquisition of the new language. Indeed, lengthening or F0 rise on the word final syllable is used by listeners to infer the presence of a boundary. However, the presence of the two cues manipulated does not improve performance; and when only one cue is present, F0 induces slightly more accurate segmentation than lengthening. Finally, the storage of the "stressable" property of the word-final syllables in French is discussed.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Bagou, Odile / Fougeron, Cécile / Frauenfelder, Uli H. (2002): "Contribution of prosody to the segmentation and storage of "words" in the acquisition of a new mini-language", In SP-2002, 159-162.