ASA 126th Meeting Denver 1993 October 4-8

5aSP21. Intrinsic F0 in the babbling of infants at ages 6, 9, and 12 months.

D. H. Whalen

Haskins Labs., 270 Crown St., New Haven, CT 06511

Andrea G. Levitt

Haskins Labs. and Wellesley College

Iris Smorodinsky

Haskins Labs. and Yale Univ.

Pai-Ling Hsiao

Haskins Labs. and Univ. of Connecticut

In adult speech, fundamental frequency (F0) has been found to be relatively high with high vowels and low with low vowels. This ``intrinsic pitch'' has been found in every language examined, including tone languages. One study with infants [Bauer, Folia Phonia. 40, 138--146 (1988)] found that F0 changed consistently with the front/back dimension rather than the high/low dimension. Bauer interpreted this pattern in terms of the change in vocal tract shape that occurs over the first 18 months of life. In this study, four infants were examined at 6, 9, and 12 months of age. Only vowels with non-mid-central articulation were selected. Results indicated that there was, after all, an association with height, though there was also an interaction with front/back. Reasons for the discrepancy with earlier work will be discussed. [Work supported by NIH Grant No. DC-00403.]