Reconsidering the development of prosodic structure:
A cross-sectional study of CV vs. CVV syllables in 14 Japanese children

高橋 牧 (ノースキャロライナ州立大大学院)

This study investigates the development of vowel-length contrast in 14 monolingual Japanese children (age 1;1~2;8). Their production of CV and CVV syllables in 30 minutes of natural speech was analyzed. The result shows that children as young as 1;1 years could produce some syllables with a long vowel. However, the frequency of long-vowel production is far less than that of short-vowel production. Children as old as 1:7 years failed to produce long-vowels nearly 60% of the time. On the other hand, children’s short vowel production was fairly stable. These findings suggest that, in the initial stage of word production, status of long and short vowels is clearly different. Short vowels are acquired earlier than long vowels.