The Emergence of Vowels in an Infant Recordings of vocal production of an infant (age 16–64 weeks) were subjected to perceptual and acoustic analysis. Sounds resembling the vowel sounds of English were identified, and formant frequency measurements were made from spectrograms. Significant longitudinal trends for individual vowel sounds were not apparent during this period, although formant relationships ... Research Article
Research Article  |   March 01, 1980
The Emergence of Vowels in an Infant
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Robert D. Buhr
    Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   March 01, 1980
The Emergence of Vowels in an Infant
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 1980, Vol. 23, 73-94. doi:10.1044/jshr.2301.73
History: Received October 7, 1977 , Accepted February 7, 1979
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 1980, Vol. 23, 73-94. doi:10.1044/jshr.2301.73
History: Received October 7, 1977; Accepted February 7, 1979

Recordings of vocal production of an infant (age 16–64 weeks) were subjected to perceptual and acoustic analysis. Sounds resembling the vowel sounds of English were identified, and formant frequency measurements were made from spectrograms. Significant longitudinal trends for individual vowel sounds were not apparent during this period, although formant relationships for some vowels after 38 weeks were consistent with the notion of restructuring of the infant's vocal tract. However, analysis of F1/F2 plots over time revealed the emergence of a well-developed vowel triangle, resembling that of older children and adults. The acute axis of this triangle seems to develop before the grave axis. Implications for anatomical, neuromuscular, and linguistic development are discussed.

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