Vocalic and consonantal processing biases in early word-learning: Cross-language differences?

Anders Højen, Thierry Nazzi

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftKonferenceabstrakt i tidsskriftForskning

Resumé

Previous research showed that French-learning 16- or 20-month-olds could learn pairs of words that differed by a single consonantal but not vocalic feature. Danish has a richer vowel inventory than French, allowing for 31 phonological vowel contrasts, including vowel length and presence/absence of stod (laryngealization). The purpose of Experiment 1 was to test whether Danish-learning 20-month-olds, in spite of the importance of vowels in Danish phonology, showed a lack of sensitivity to one-feature vocalic differences in lexical learning similar to that of French-learning infants. The experiment made use of the same word-learning task as that used for French 16-month-olds. As opposed to the French-learning infants, the Danish-learning infants successfully learned the vowel pairs indicating sensitivity to small vocalic differences in word-learning. Experiment 2 tested the use of vowels in word-learning in French-learning 20-month-olds using the same task. They failed again. On the other hand, ongoing tests indicate that Danish-learning 20-month-olds, as opposed to French-learning 16- or 20-month-olds, fail to use one-feature consonantal differences in word-learning. These results may suggest that infants develop processing biases in word-learning depending on the sound-structure of their language.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Vol/bind128
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)2350
Antal sider1
ISSN0001-4966
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2010

Emneord

  • Infant
  • Language acquisition
  • Perception
  • word learning
  • consonants
  • vowels
  • Danish
  • french

Citer dette

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abstract = "Previous research showed that French-learning 16- or 20-month-olds could learn pairs of words that differed by a single consonantal but not vocalic feature. Danish has a richer vowel inventory than French, allowing for 31 phonological vowel contrasts, including vowel length and presence/absence of stod (laryngealization). The purpose of Experiment 1 was to test whether Danish-learning 20-month-olds, in spite of the importance of vowels in Danish phonology, showed a lack of sensitivity to one-feature vocalic differences in lexical learning similar to that of French-learning infants. The experiment made use of the same word-learning task as that used for French 16-month-olds. As opposed to the French-learning infants, the Danish-learning infants successfully learned the vowel pairs indicating sensitivity to small vocalic differences in word-learning. Experiment 2 tested the use of vowels in word-learning in French-learning 20-month-olds using the same task. They failed again. On the other hand, ongoing tests indicate that Danish-learning 20-month-olds, as opposed to French-learning 16- or 20-month-olds, fail to use one-feature consonantal differences in word-learning. These results may suggest that infants develop processing biases in word-learning depending on the sound-structure of their language.",
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Vocalic and consonantal processing biases in early word-learning: Cross-language differences? / Højen, Anders; Nazzi, Thierry.

I: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Bind 128, Nr. 4, 2010, s. 2350.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftKonferenceabstrakt i tidsskriftForskning

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