Coarticulation and VOT in an Italian child from 18 to 48 months of age


  • Claudio Zmarich CNR-ISTC, Padova and University of Padova
  • Anna Rosa Biondi University of Bologna
  • Serena Bonifacio Free Lance Speech Therapist and Clinical Researcher, Trieste
  • Maria Grazia Busà Dipartimento di Studi Linguistici e Letterari, University of Padova
  • Benedetta Colavolpe University of Padova
  • Mariavittoria Gaiotto University of Padova
  • Francesco Olivucci University of Bologna



VOT acquisition, Anticipatory Coarticulation development, Acquisition of Italian, Acoustic analysis, Locus Equations


This study brings new data to two understudied topics in Italian child language development: VOT and anticipatory C-V coarticulation. One female subject was recorded every three months from 18 to 48 months, while interacting with the clinician in front of some toys, repeating several times each bisyllabic pseudo-word beginning with voiceless and voiced stops. The acoustic signals were annotated using Praat and scripts were created for the automatic extraction of VOT and F2 values (Hz) for the Locus of Equations methods. RESULTS: Voiced stops appeared more difficult to produce than voiceless stops, but voicing contrast was finally achieved from 30 months of age. The degree of coarticulation increased with age, but at 48 months bilabials and alveolars were still less coarticulated than in adults.




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