ERIC Number: EJ1018625
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Learning Non-Adjacent Regularities at Age 0 ; 7
Gervain, Judit; Werker, Janet F.
Journal of Child Language, v40 n4 p860-872 2013
One important mechanism suggested to underlie the acquisition of grammar is rule learning. Indeed, infants aged 0 ; 7 are able to learn rules based on simple identity relations (adjacent repetitions, ABB: "wo fe fe" and non-adjacent repetitions, ABA: "wo fe wo", respectively; Marcus et al., 1999). One unexplored issue is whether young infants are able to process both adjacent and non-adjacent repetitions. As the previous studies always compared the two types of repetition structures directly, the ability to learn only one of them was sufficient for successful discrimination in these tasks. The present study reports two experiments, in which we test the ability of infants aged 0 ; 7 to discriminate adjacent and non-adjacent repetition structures against random controls (ABB vs. ABC and ABA vs. ABC). We show that, contrary to some previous proposals, infants aged 0 ; 7 successfully discriminate both repetition types from random controls, but show no spontaneous preference for either of them.
Descriptors: Language Acquisition, Grammar, Infants, Language Processing, Comparative Analysis, Task Analysis, Preferences, Speech, Auditory Discrimination, Language Research
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Publication Type: Reports - Research; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A