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Still not adult-like: lexical stress contrastivity in word productions of eight- to eleven-year-olds*



Lexical stress is the contrast between strong and weak syllables within words. Ballard et al. (2012) examined the amount of stress contrastivity across adjacent syllables in word productions of typically developing three- to seven-year-olds and adults. Here, eight- to eleven-year-olds are compared with the adults from Ballard et al. using acoustic measurements of relative contrast in duration, peak intensity, and peak fundamental frequency of the vowels within the initial two syllables of each word. While eight- to eleven-year-olds are closer to adult-like stress contrastivity than three- to seven-year-olds, they are not yet adult-like in terms of the intensity contrast for words beginning with a weak syllable.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Joanne Arciuli, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales 2000, Australia. e-mail:


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This research was supported by University of Sydney funds awarded to Joanne Arciuli. In addition, both authors were in receipt of research fellowships provided by the Australian Research Council. We thank the children who participated in this study and the research assistants who worked on the study, including Renae Nash and Natalia Henderson-Faranda.



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