Acoustic Patterns of Infant Vocalizations Expressing Emotions and Communicative Functions The present study aimed at identifying the acoustic pattern of vocalizations, produced by 7- to 11-month-old infants, that were interpreted by their mothers as expressing emotions or communicative functions. Participants were 6 healthy, first-born English infants, 3 boys and 3 girls, and their mothers. The acoustic analysis of the vocalizations ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2002
Acoustic Patterns of Infant Vocalizations Expressing Emotions and Communicative Functions
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • C. Papaeliou, PhD
    University of Crete (Rethymno) School of Philosophy Department of Philosophical and Social Studies Crete, Greece
  • G. Minadakis
    Technological Educational Institute of Athens Department of Medical Instrumentation Technology Athens, Greece
  • D. Cavouras
    Technological Educational Institute of Athens Department of Medical Instrumentation Technology Athens, Greece
  • Contact author: C. Papaeliou, PhD, 54 Faradaton Street, Ampelokipi 115-27, Athens, Greece. E-mail: papailiou@phl.uoc.gr
Article Information
Development / Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Voice Disorders / Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2002
Acoustic Patterns of Infant Vocalizations Expressing Emotions and Communicative Functions
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2002, Vol. 45, 311-317. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2002/024)
History: Received March 26, 2001 , Accepted January 11, 2002
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2002, Vol. 45, 311-317. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2002/024)
History: Received March 26, 2001; Accepted January 11, 2002
Web of Science® Times Cited: 22

The present study aimed at identifying the acoustic pattern of vocalizations, produced by 7- to 11-month-old infants, that were interpreted by their mothers as expressing emotions or communicative functions. Participants were 6 healthy, first-born English infants, 3 boys and 3 girls, and their mothers. The acoustic analysis of the vocalizations was performed using a pattern recognition (PR) software system. A PR system not only calculates signal features, it also automatically detects patterns in the arrangement of such features. The following results were obtained: (a) the PR system distinguished vocalizations interpreted as emotions from vocalizations interpreted as communicative functions with an overall accuracy of 87.34%; (b) the classification accuracy of the PR system for vocalizations that convey emotions was 85.4% and for vocalizations that convey communicative functions was 89.5%; and (c) compared to vocalizations that express emotions, vocalizations that express communicative functions were shorter, displayed lower fundamental frequency values, and had greater overall intensity. These findings suggest that in the second half of the first year, infants possess a vocal repertoire that contributes to regulating cooperative interaction with their mothers, which is considered one of the major prerequisites for language acquisition.

Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access