Measuring Child Rhythm

Elinor Payne, Brechtje Post, Lluïsa Astruc, Pilar Prieto, Maria del Mar Vanrell

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    45 Citations (Scopus)


    Interval-based rhythm metrics were applied to the speech of English, Catalan and Spanish 2, 4 and 6 year-olds, and compared with the (adult-directed) speech of their mothers. Results reveal that child speech does not fall into a well-defined rhythmic class: for all three languages, it is more 'vocalic' (higher %V) than adult speech and has a tendency towards lower variability (when normalized for speech rate) in vocalic interval duration. Consonantal interval variability, however, is higher in child speech, particularly for younger children. Nevertheless, despite the identification of common, cross-linguistic patterns in child speech, the emergence of language-specific rhythmic indices is also clearly observable, even in the speech of 2 year-olds. © The Author(s) 2011.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)203-229
    JournalLanguage and Speech
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2012


    • Catalan
    • development
    • English
    • rhythm
    • Spanish


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