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ERIC Number: EJ1007140
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Mar
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0965
Learning about Sounds Contributes to Learning about Words: Effects of Prosody and Phonotactics on Infant Word Learning
Estes, Katharine Graf; Bowen, Sara
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, v114 n3 p405-417 Mar 2013
This research investigates how early learning about native language sound structure affects how infants associate sounds with meanings during word learning. Infants (19-month-olds) were presented with bisyllabic labels with high or low phonotactic probability (i.e., sequences of frequent or infrequent phonemes in English). The labels were produced with the predominant English trochaic (strong/weak) stress pattern or the less common iambic (weak/strong) pattern. Using the habituation-based Switch Task to test label learning, we found that infants readily learned high probability trochaic labels. However, they failed to learn low probability labels, regardless of stress, and failed to learn iambic labels, regardless of phonotactics. Thus, infants required support from both common phoneme sequences and a common stress pattern to map the labels to objects. These findings demonstrate that early word learning is shaped by prior knowledge of native language phonological regularities and provide support for the role of statistical learning in language acquisition. (Contains 2 figures and 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A