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mer. 30/03/2022 Development of phonetic complexity in bilingual children living in Lebanon
Conférence de :
  • Nour Chami (Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth)

dans le cadre DENDY : Séminaire Bilinguisme

Children’s early phonetic development is constrained by universal biological limitations, but it is also influenced by the target language characteristics. Several studies on monolingual children have examined phonetic complexity showing its increase with age and/or lexical size as well as a gap between the actual and the targeted complexity. Moreover, the only crosslinguistic study to our knowledge showed first that languages differ in terms of phonetic complexity but also the influence of these differences on the development of children’s phonetic complexity. The aim of our study is to describe the development of phonetic complexity in multilingual children speaking Lebanese Arabic and French and/or English. Concerning methodology, we recorded spontaneous utterances of 16 Lebanese multilingual children aged between 16-30 months. Recordings lasted 30 minutes per child and took place at home in natural communication settings with the mother. Using an adaptation of Jakielski’s Index of Phonetic Complexity (IPC), we carried out an analysis to assess the phonetic complexity in all the three languages, of both produced and targeted words by two groups of children aged between 16-20 months and 27-30 months. Expressive vocabulary size was estimated by using the Lebanese Trilingual Communicative Development Inventory – 16-30 months (IDC-L trilingue 16-30 mois). Our findings show that children’s IPC increases significantly with vocabulary size only at 16-20 months of age, at the lexical spurt stage. Moreover, we showed that although children’s actual productions’ IPC increases with age, its value is always inferior to that of target words in all the three languages, indicating that children still have articulatory limits. Furthermore, the cross-linguistic comparisons of children’s IPC scores of their produced words do not reveal any differences between languages showing that these children’s first lexical productions seem to be more influenced by articulatory constraints than by the ambient language. References Bellemmouche, H. (2016). Influence du développement phonologique et de l’input sur les premières productions lexicales d’enfants arabophones. Doctoral dissertation, Université Paul Valéry - Montpellier III ; Université Hadj Lakhdar (Batna, Algeria). Charlier-Bered, M., & Juhem, A. (2007). Evolution de la complexité phonético-phonologique et sélection lexicale chez des enfants français entre 12 et 27 mois. Master’s Thesis, Université Lyon 1. Davis, B. L., & MacNeilage, P. F. (1995). The articulatory basis of babbling. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 38(6), 1199-1211. Gayraud, F., Barkat-Defradas, M., Lahrouchi, M., & Hamed, M. B. (2018). Development of phonetic complexity in Arabic, Berber, English and French. Canadian Journal of Linguistics/Revue canadienne de linguistique, 63(4), 527-555. Jakielski, K. (2000). Quantifying phonetic complexity in words: An experimental index. Child phonology conference, Cedar Fallas, IA.



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