Phonological theory informs the analysis of intonational exaggeration in Japanese infant-directed speech.
To date, the intonation of infant-directed speech (IDS) has been analyzed without reference to its phonological structure. Intonational phonology should, however, inform IDS research, discovering important properties that have previously been overlooked. The present study investigated "intonational exaggeration" in Japanese IDS using the intonational phonological framework. Although intonational exaggeration, which is most often measured by pitch-range expansion, is one of the best-known characteristics of IDS, Japanese has been reported to lack such exaggeration. The present results demonstrated that intonational exaggeration is in fact present and observed most notably at the location of boundary pitch movements, and that the effects of lexical pitch accents in the remainder of the utterances superficially mask the exaggeration. These results not only reveal dynamic aspects of Japanese IDS, but also in turn contribute to the theory of intonational phonology, suggesting that paralinguistic pitch-range modifications most clearly emerge where the intonation system of a language allows maximum flexibility in varying intonational contours.
Igarashi, Y; Nishikawa, K; Tanaka, K; Mazuka, R
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