The acquisition of stress in Northern East Cree : a case study

Swain, Erin (2008) The acquisition of stress in Northern East Cree : a case study. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

In this thesis I discuss the phonetic and metrical properties of stress in Northern East Cree, a relatively under-documented language, and I offer a preliminary investigation of their acquisition, based on the longitudinal case study of one NE Cree learning child (aged 2;02 to 4;01). I first demonstrate that pitch is the primary cue for marking stress in NE Cree, and argue that the child is able to use this cue from the very first recording session. Acoustic analysis of her speech productions suggests that, similar to adult speakers, the child primarily uses an increase in pitch on stressed syllables. Further, I show that the child has already acquired all but one of the relevant metrical parameter settings for her language at the onset of the study. This study is theoretically significant in light of previous claims that children are born with a universal set of default metrical parameter settings. The current investigation rather supports a neutral start in the acquisition of stress.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/8992
Item ID: 8992
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 116-122)
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Linguistics
Date: 2008
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Cree language--Phonetics; Cree language--Accents and accentuation

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