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Intonation targets of yes/no questions by Spanish and German monolingual and bilingual children

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Abstract

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.

References

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