Carolyn M. Quam

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Phonology provides a system by which a limited number of types of phonetic variation can signal communicative intentions at multiple levels of linguistic analysis. Because phonologies vary from language to language, acquiring the phonology of a language demands learning to attribute phonetic variation appropriately. Here, we studied the case of(More)
Young infants respond to positive and negative speech prosody (A. Fernald, 1993), yet 4-year-olds rely on lexical information when it conflicts with paralinguistic cues to approval or disapproval (M. Friend, 2003). This article explores this surprising phenomenon, testing one hundred eighteen 2- to 5-year-olds' use of isolated pitch cues to emotions in(More)
Infant-directed speech (IDS) is characterized by exaggerated intonation patterns and short, simple phrases. Because these exaggerated intonation patterns frequently convey a small, stereotyped range of emotional signals, we might expect particular words, like good or no, to be realized with consistent pitch contours. This consistency in a word's pitch(More)
Languages use acoustic dimensions differently to contrast words, so children must learn which acoustic dimensions are relevant at different levels of structure in their particular language. For example, vowel duration is an important cue to vowel identity in Dutch. In English, though, vowel duration varies with suprasegmental factors like speaking rate, but(More)
Although infants learn an impressive amount about their native-language phonological system by the end of the first year of life, after the first year children still have much to learn about how acoustic dimensions cue linguistic categories in fluent speech. The current study investigated what children have learned about how the acoustic dimension of pitch(More)
Bilinguals have the sole option of conversing in one language in spite of knowing two languages. The question of how bilinguals alternate between their two languages, activating and deactivating one language, is not well understood. In the current study, we investigated the development of this process by researching bilingual children's abilities to(More)
Purpose The purpose of this study was to determine whether the degree of dominance of Mandarin-English bilinguals' languages affects phonetic processing of tone content in their native language, Mandarin. Method We tested 72 Mandarin-English bilingual college students with a range of language-dominance profiles in the 2 languages and ages of acquisition(More)
Much research focuses on speech processing in infancy, sometimes generating the impression that speech-sound categories do not develop further. Yet other studies suggest substantial plasticity throughout mid-childhood. Differences between infant versus child and adult experimental methods currently obscure how language processing changes across childhood,(More)
Previous research has mainly considered the impact of tone-language experience on ability to discriminate linguistic pitch, but proficient bilingual listening requires differential processing of sound variation in each language context. Here, we ask whether Mandarin-English bilinguals, for whom pitch indicates word distinctions in one language but not the(More)