ALIPE project (Acquisition de la Liaison et Interactions Parents Enfants)

The aim of this project is twofold : firstly, we will study the modalities of liaison acquisition for young speakers of French as a mother tongue. The study will be based on the analysis of dense corpora collected in natural situations of interaction between children and their parents.

Drawing on the usage-based acquisition theory of Tomasello (2003), we will analyse the utterances of the parents, in relation to the utterances of their children, in order to measure the effect of the parents’ production on the speed and the quality of the children’s liaison acquisition. Secondly, our study of the corpora will enable us able to characterize the Child Directed Speech (CDS) at the level of liaison production. In fact, it was agreed that adults modulate their language when they speak to children : their utterances are shorter ; their syntax is simpler ; the flow of speech is slower (for a summary, see Jisa and Richaud (1994). Nevertheless, the literature does not talk about the characteristics of CDS concerning liaison. With this in mind, we will compare the parents’ utterances according to whom they primarily address their speech in order to identify any differences between the CDS and the adult directed speech.

Two sets of dense corpora will form the basis of our study. A first set of corporas is drawn from the ANR project Phonlex. Three girls were recorded at home in situations of natural interaction with their parents. The recording sessions lasted approximately one hour and were repeated daily for one week. The same protocol was repeated eight months later, to observe their linguistic development. In order to represent a large period of acquisition, the girls were 28, 36 and 40 months old at the beginning of the study.