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ERIC Number: EJ1124465
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jan
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1467-7687
Segmenting Words from Fluent Speech during Infancy--Challenges and Opportunities in a Bilingual Context
Polka, Linda; Orena, Adriel John; Sundara, Megha; Worrall, Jennifer
Developmental Science, v20 n1 e12419 Jan 2017
Previous research shows that word segmentation is a language-specific skill. Here, we tested segmentation of bi-syllabic words in two languages (French; English) within the same infants in a single test session. In Experiment 1, monolingual 8-month-olds (French; English) segmented bi-syllabic words in their native language, but not in an unfamiliar and rhythmically different language. In Experiment 2, bilingual infants acquiring French and English demonstrated successful segmentation for French when it was tested first, but not for English and not for either language when tested second. There were no effects of language exposure on this pattern of findings. In Experiment 3, bilingual infants segmented the same English materials used in Experiment 2 when they were tested using the standard segmentation procedure, which provided more exposure to the test stimuli. These findings show that segmenting words in both their native languages in the dual-language task poses a distinct challenge for bilingual 8-month-olds acquiring French and English. Further research exploring early word segmentation will advance our understanding of bilingual acquisition and expand our fundamental knowledge of language and cognitive development.
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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
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A