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ERIC Number: EJ1087800
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jan
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1363-755X
Vowel Bias in Danish Word-Learning: Processing Biases Are Language-Specific
Højen, Anders; Nazzi, Thierry
Developmental Science, v19 n1 p41-49 Jan 2016
The present study explored whether the phonological bias favoring consonants found in French-learning infants and children when learning new words (Havy & Nazzi, 2009; Nazzi, 2005) is language-general, as proposed by Nespor, Peña and Mehler (2003), or varies across languages, perhaps as a function of the phonological or lexical properties of the language in acquisition. To do so, we used the interactive word-learning task set up by Havy and Nazzi (2009), teaching Danish-learning 20-month-olds pairs of phonetically similar words that contrasted either on one of their consonants or one of their vowels, by either one or two phonological features. Danish was chosen because it has more vowels than consonants, and is characterized by extensive consonant lenition. Both phenomena could disfavor a consonant bias. Evidence of word-learning was found only for vocalic information, irrespective of whether one or two phonological features were changed. The implication of these findings is that the phonological biases found in early lexical processing are not language-general but develop during language acquisition, depending on the phonological or lexical properties of the native language.
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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
Identifiers - Location: Denmark
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A