The influence of utterance position on children's production of lexical stress

Allan B. Smith, Michael Robb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Previous studies reporting acoustical data on children's production of lexical stress examined words produced in isolation (i.e., with no carrier phrase) or in utterance-final position. In such contexts, the final syllable of the words being examined was also the utterance-final syllable. Syllables produced in utterance-final position are known to be longer in duration and lower in intensity and F0 compared to other syllables within utterances. Therefore, utterance-final effects may have obscured previous results on children's production of stress. Twenty children at approximately 6 years of age produced novel trochaic and iambic words in utterance-final and utterance-non-final position. Comparing productions across the two utterance positions suggested that reliance upon the utterance-final context was a confounding factor in past studies. Utterance-final position facilitated the iambic pattern of duration (short-long) and the trochaic pattern of intensity and F0 (high-low). Utterance position sometimes affected trochees differently than iambs, especially in the duration of word-final syllables. The results are discussed in terms of past explanations of utterance position effects on acoustic characteristics of syllables.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-206
Number of pages8
JournalFolia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing
  • LPN and LVN


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