ERIC Number: EJ1097342
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Input-Driven Differences in Toddlers' Perception of a Disappearing Phonological Contrast
van der Feest, Suzanne V. H.; Johnson, Elizabeth K.
Language Acquisition: A Journal of Developmental Linguistics, v23 n2 p89-111 2016
How does phonological development differ in children exposed to one versus two variants of a single language? If children receive mixed evidence for a phonological contrast (i.e., one language variant in the environment maintains a contrast while another neutralizes it), will they treat this contrast as noncontrastive (i.e., as allophonic)? Or will they learn that only some speakers maintain the contrast and use this information to strategically optimize online word recognition? We examine these issues in two groups of Dutch 24-month-olds. One group had exposure to a single variant of Dutch that devoices all fricatives; the other had exposure to two Dutch variants, only one of which devoices all fricatives. We find that children who receive mixed evidence for a phonological contrast rapidly adapt their signal processing strategies to suit different speakers. Moreover, children routinely exposed to only one language variant demonstrate similar capabilities if given time to adapt to an unfamiliar variant.
Descriptors: Linguistic Input, Toddlers, Indo European Languages, Language Variation, Language Processing, Phonology, Foreign Countries, Auditory Perception, Phonemes, Metalinguistics, Statistical Analysis, Language Acquisition
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Netherlands
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A