NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1077988
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Nov
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1363-755X
Constraints on Statistical Computations at 10 Months of Age: The Use of Phonological Features
Gonzalez-Gomez, Nayeli; Nazzi, Thierry
Developmental Science, v18 n6 p864-876 Nov 2015
Recently, several studies have argued that infants capitalize on the statistical properties of natural languages to acquire the linguistic structure of their native language, but the kinds of constraints which apply to statistical computations remain largely unknown. Here we explored French-learning infants' perceptual preference for labial-coronal (LC) words over coronal-labial words (CL) words (e.g. preferring "bat" over "tab") to determine whether this phonotactic preference is based on the acquisition of the statistical properties of the input based on a single phonological feature (i.e. place of articulation), multiple features (i.e. place and manner of articulation), or individual consonant pairs. Results from four experiments revealed that infants had a labial-coronal bias for nasal sequences (Experiment 1) and for all plosive sequences (Experiments 2 and 4) but a coronal-labial bias for all fricative sequences (Experiments 3 and 4), independently of the frequencies of individual consonant pairs. These results establish for the first time that constellations of multiple phonological features, defining broad consonant classes, constrain the early acquisition of phonotactic regularities of the native language.
Wiley-Blackwell. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8598; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A