LINGUIST List 21.3171

Wed Aug 04 2010

Diss: Phonetics/Phonology/Lang Acq: Lintfert: 'Phonetic and ...'

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        1.    Britta Lintfert, Phonetic and Phonological Development of Stress in German

Message 1: Phonetic and Phonological Development of Stress in German
Date: 03-Aug-2010
From: Britta Lintfert <>
Subject: Phonetic and Phonological Development of Stress in German
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Institution: Universität Stuttgart Program: Institute for Natural Language Processing Dissertation Status: Completed Degree Date: 2009

Author: Britta Lintfert

Dissertation Title: Phonetic and Phonological Development of Stress in German

Dissertation URL:

Linguistic Field(s): Language Acquisition                             Phonetics                             Phonology
Dissertation Director:
Bernd Möbius Yvan Rose Grzegorz Dogil
Dissertation Abstract:

The purpose of this thesis is to describe the development of stress inchildren's speech and its evolution over the first few years of theirlives. Within the results of the conducted analyses an exemplar-basedspeech production model of the acquisition of stress was developed. To thisend the phonological and phonetic development of stress were analysed aswell as the development of vowel space. The development of differentperceptual spaces was addressed in the context of stress development ofGerman children.

Longitudinal speech samples of children from 5 months up to 36 months ofage were recorded and analysed to create a prosodically annotated speechcorpus of babbling, first words and meaningful speech of German-speakingchildren. In order to compare the child's use of the acoustic parametres,the parental use of the acoustic parametre of stress was also annotated andanalysed. Furthermore, for describing the vowel development,cross-sectional data for children between 4 and 10 years were evaluated.

First the crucial role of stress in the development of different syllablestructures is described. Then the acoustic realisation of stress isanalysed. The correlates of German word stress which include vowelduration, RMS Intensity, fundamental frequency, first four formants anddifferent voice quality parameters were therefore also analysed in childrenbetween 5 and 36 months of age and their parents. Besides, the developmentof the F1-F2 and F2-F3 vowel space depending on stress is describedillustrating a cognitive map of representations in the perceptual space.The development of the articulatory-acoustic relationship seems to benonlinear and dependent on an increased control of motor abilities.

The results of the different analyses are integrated in a comprehensiveneural model of speech production using a self-organising neural network.This model is very appropriate to describe the differences in theproduction of babbling and words as there are possibilities to developdifferent neural maps depending on the stage of development as well as onthe articulatory abilities. Self-feedback as well as feedback from theenvironment is also integrated in this model of production and perception.

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