Comparing cues of phrasing in German and Spanish child monolingual and bilingual acquisition
The present study compares the production of phonetic cues signaling phrasing boundaries by three monolingual Spanish, three monolingual German and three German-Spanish bilingual children at age 3;0, in broad-focus declaratives. The phonetic cues analyzed are F0-reset, intonation contours (falling vs. rising), pauses, final lengthening and glottal stop insertion (Peters 2006, for German; and Frota et al. 2007, for Spanish). Results show that both monolinguals and bilinguals signal prosodic phrase boundaries in ways that can be considered adult-like. However, bilinguals exhibit more individual differences. Whereas two bilingual children show differences between their two prosodic systems, which correspond to the values of the two adult languages, a third bilingual child signals cues by means of German values in both languages, German and Spanish.