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ERIC Number: EJ1063272
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jul
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1363-755X
Mechanisms Underlying Accent Accommodation in Early Word Learning: Evidence for General Expansion
Schmale, Rachel; Seidl, Amanda; Cristia, Alejandrina
Developmental Science, v18 n4 p664-670 Jul 2015
Previous work reveals that toddlers can accommodate a novel accent after hearing it for only a brief period of time. A common assumption is that children, like adults, cope with nonstandard pronunciations by relying on words they know (e.g. "this person pronounces sock as 'sack', therefore by 'black' she meant 'block'"). In this paper, we assess whether toddlers might additionally use a general expansion strategy, whereby they simply accept non-standard pronunciations when variability is expected. We exposed a group of 24-month-old English-learning toddlers to variability in indexical cues (very diverse voices from native English talkers), and another to variability in social cues (very diverse-looking silent actors); neither group was familiarized with the target novel accent. At test, both groups succeeded in recognizing a novel word when spoken in the novel accent. Thus, even when "no" lexical cues are available, variability can prepare young children for non-standard pronunciations.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A