Intonation of early two-word utterances in Dutch

Chen, A., & Fikkert, P. (2007). Intonation of early two-word utterances in Dutch. In J. Trouvain, & W. J. Barry (Eds.), Proceedings of the 16th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 2007) (pp. 315-320). Dudweiler: Pirrot.
We analysed intonation contours of two-word utterances from three monolingual Dutch children aged between 1;4 and 2;1 in the autosegmentalmetrical framework. Our data show that children have mastered the inventory of the boundary tones and nuclear pitch accent types (except for L*HL and L*!HL) at the 160-word level, and the set of nondownstepped pre-nuclear pitch accents (except for L*) at the 230-word level, contra previous claims on the mastery of adult-like intonation contours before or at the onset of first words. Further, there is evidence that intonational development is correlated with an increase in vocabulary size. Moreover, we found that children show a preference for falling contours, as predicted on the basis of universal production mechanisms. In addition, the utterances are mostly spoken with both words accented independent of semantic relations expressed and information status of each word across developmental stages, contra prior work. Our study suggests a number of topics for further research.
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