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ERIC Number: EJ1007269
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jun
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0277
Word-Level Information Influences Phonetic Learning in Adults and Infants
Feldman, Naomi H.; Myers, Emily B.; White, Katherine S.; Griffiths, Thomas L.; Morgan, James L.
Cognition, v127 n3 p427-438 Jun 2013
Infants begin to segment words from fluent speech during the same time period that they learn phonetic categories. Segmented words can provide a potentially useful cue for phonetic learning, yet accounts of phonetic category acquisition typically ignore the contexts in which sounds appear. We present two experiments to show that, contrary to the assumption that phonetic learning occurs in isolation, learners are sensitive to the words in which sounds appear and can use this information to constrain their interpretation of phonetic variability. Experiment 1 shows that adults use word-level information in a phonetic category learning task, assigning acoustically similar vowels to different categories more often when those sounds consistently appear in different words. Experiment 2 demonstrates that 8-month-old infants similarly pay attention to word-level information and that this information affects how they treat phonetic contrasts. These findings suggest that phonetic category learning is a rich, interactive process that takes advantage of many different types of cues that are present in the input. (Contains 1 table and 3 figures.)
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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