ERIC Number: ED034966
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968-Aug
Reference Count: 0
An Experiment on the Recognition of Babbling.
Atkinson, Kay; And Others
The purpose of this study was to discover: (1) whether or not adults can discriminate between the babbling of babies learning different languages, and (2) the approximate age at which discrimination is possible. There were two tests involved in the experiment. The identification test consisted of 20 babbling samples, each of which was 15 seconds long. Of the 18 different samples (two were repeated), six were from American babies, six from Russian babies, and six from Chinese babies. The babies ranged from 5 months, 29 days to 17 months, 9 days. The same-different test consisted of 24 pairs of babbling samples from the three linguistic environments. Half the samples were from 5-6 month old babies and the other half were from 16-17 month old babies. The items in each pair were matched for age, and the "different" items were matched for sex; all possible combinations, within these limitations, were presented in equal distribution. Results indicate that adults can neither identify the babbling of infants raised in different language communities as English or non-English up to the age of 17 months, nor judge whether two samples from infants at a given age are from the same or different language communities. However, subjects' decisions were not entirely random. (Authors/DO)
Descriptors: Auditory Discrimination, Child Language, Cross Cultural Studies, Cultural Differences, Language Acquisition, Language Patterns, Phonology, Psycholinguistics
Language-Behavior Research Laboratory, Institute of International Studies, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: California Univ., Berkeley. Language and Behavior Research Lab.
Note: Paper submitted at workshop on "Child, Language and Society," University of California, Berkeley, Summer, 1968