Article published in:The Development of Grammar: Language acquisition and diachronic change. In honour of Jürgen M. Meisel
Edited by Esther Rinke and Tanja Kupisch
[Hamburg Studies on Multilingualism 11] 2011
► pp. 263–286
Intonation targets of yes/no questions by Spanish and German monolingual and bilingual children
Yes/no interrogative utterances in German and Spanish exhibit four comparable intonation points: a first peak, a falling F0, an L and a final H. However, there are differences regarding the alignment and scaling of H and L tones across the two languages. Yes/no questions by German and Spanish monolinguals and German-Spanish bilinguals aged 2;0 and 3;0 are analyzed, with the aim of finding out whether children at these ages have already acquired the intonation contours of yes/no questions. Results show that monolingual children already produce both the F0 contours and the alignment of the four crucial points before 3;0, whereas bilinguals correctly produce the contours, but some of them tend to not differentiate alignment and/or scaling in the two languages.
Keywords: alignment, bilinguals, boundary tone, falling F0, intonation contours, pitch accent, rising F0, scaling, yes/no questions
Published online: 25 May 2011
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