ERIC Number: EJ1070665
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Dense Neighborhoods and Mechanisms of Learning: Evidence from Children with Phonological Delay
Gierut, Judith A.; Morrisette, Michele L.
Journal of Child Language, v42 n5 p1036-1072 Sep 2015
There is a noted advantage of dense neighborhoods in language acquisition, but the learning mechanism that drives the effect is not well understood. Two hypotheses--long-term auditory word priming and phonological working memory--have been advanced in the literature as viable accounts. These were evaluated in two treatment studies enrolling twelve children with phonological delay. Study 1 exposed children to dense neighbors versus non-neighbors before training sound production in evaluation of the priming hypothesis. Study 2 exposed children to the same stimuli after training sound production as a test of the phonological working memory hypothesis. Results showed that neighbors led to greater phonological generalization than non-neighbors, but only when presented prior to training production. There was little generalization and no differential effect of exposure to neighbors or non-neighbors after training production. Priming was thus supported as a possible mechanism of learning behind the dense neighborhood advantage in phonological acquisition.
Descriptors: Phonology, Language Acquisition, Linguistic Theory, Short Term Memory, Generalization, Delayed Speech, Priming, Child Language, Vocabulary Development, Teaching Methods, Auditory Stimuli, Auditory Perception, Learning Processes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: R01DC001694