主讲人: 西悉尼大学 Denis Burnham 教授
主题：Mothers Hyperarticulation of Vowels and Lexical Tones in Speech to Infants
During PhD and a junior faculty position at Monash (1975-1981) and then later at UNSW (1981-1999), Denis Burnham researched infant perceptual development. He rode the exciting new wave of infant visual perception research in the 1970s and then was one of the first Australian punks in the 1980s to jump onto the equally, if not more, exciting newer wave of infant speech perception.
From the mid-80s and throughout the 90s, Denis Burnham embraced cross-disciplinary research, working with experimental phoneticians and speech scientists, and in the late 80s he added the use non-English languages (Thai and then many others) as a tool in order to probe speech perception development not only over ontogeny, but also as a product of the mini-laboratories (called languages) so conveniently set up to allow natural manipulation of perceptual input.
After his appointment as inaugural Director of MARCS at UWS in 1999, his research focus on experiential and inherited influences in speech and language development continued to develop in – infant speech perception; auditory-visual (AV) speech perception; special speech registers, including ,infant-, pet-, foreigner-, computer-, and lover-directed speech; captions for the hearing impaired; tone languages – lexical tone perception, tone perception with cochlear implants, and speech-music interactions; human-machine interaction; speech corpus studies; and the role of infants perceptual experience and expertise, in literacy development.
Infant-directed speech, previously called babytalk, is not just a cute way for parents and others to talk to infants. Rather it (i) has a number of unique properties that are finely tuned to the optimal development of the child and (ii) the incidence and strength of these properties is determined just as much by the infants reactions as by the parents intentions. Following this overview, data from experiments on the role of speech hyperarticulation in infant-directed speech and a number of other special speech registers (e.g., computer-directed, pet-directed, foreigner-directed speech) will be presented. Experiments on the role of vowel hyperarticulation and of lexical tone hyperarticulation (in languages such as Chinese) in promoting infants language abilities will also be presented. The presentation will end with speculations on the origins and purpose of vowel and tone modifications in infant-directed speech.