Acoustic analysis of adults imitating infants: a cross-linguistic perspective
2012 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
The present study investigates adult imitations of infant vocalizations in a cross-linguistic perspective. Japanese-learning and Swedish-learning infants were recorded at ages 16-21 and 78-79 weeks. Vowel-like utterances (n=210) were selected from the recordings and presented to Japanese (n=3) and Swedish (n=3) adults. The adults were asked to imitate what they heard, simulating a spontaneous feedback situation between caregiver and infant. Formant data (F1 and F2) was extracted from all utterances and validated by comparing original and formant re-synthesized utterances. The data was normalized for fundamental frequency and time, and the accumulated spectral difference was calculated between each infant utterance and each imitation of that utterance. The mean spectral difference was calculated and compared, grouped by native language of infant and adult, as well as age of the infant. Preliminary results show smaller spectral difference in the imitations of older infants compared to imitations of the younger group, regardless of infant and adult native language. This may be explained by the increasing stability and more speech-like quality of infants' vocalizations as they grow older (and thus have been exposed to their native language for a longer period of time), making their utterances easier for adults to imitate.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. 200- p.
imitation, speech perception, infants
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject Phonetics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-77158OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-77158DiVA: diva2:530164