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ERIC Number: EJ1138550
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-May
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1467-7687
Co-Occurrence Statistics as a Language-Dependent Cue for Speech Segmentation
Saksida, Amanda; Langus, Alan; Nespor, Marina
Developmental Science, v20 n3 May 2017
To what extent can language acquisition be explained in terms of different associative learning mechanisms? It has been hypothesized that distributional regularities in spoken languages are strong enough to elicit statistical learning about dependencies among speech units. Distributional regularities could be a useful cue for word learning even without rich language-specific knowledge. However, it is not clear how strong and reliable the distributional cues are that humans might use to segment speech. We investigate cross-linguistic viability of different statistical learning strategies by analyzing child-directed speech corpora from nine languages and by modeling possible statistics-based speech segmentations. We show that languages vary as to which statistical segmentation strategies are most successful. The variability of the results can be partially explained by systematic differences between languages, such as rhythmical differences. The results confirm previous findings that different statistical learning strategies are successful in different languages and suggest that infants may have to primarily rely on non-statistical cues when they begin their process of speech segmentation.
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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