ERIC Number: EJ788636
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Rapid Acquisition of Phonological Alternations by Infants
White, Katherine S.; Peperkamp, Sharon; Kirk, Cecilia; Morgan, James L.
Cognition, v107 n1 p238-265 Apr 2008
We explore whether infants can learn novel phonological alternations on the basis of distributional information. In Experiment 1, two groups of 12-month-old infants were familiarized with artificial languages whose distributional properties exhibited either stop or fricative voicing alternations. At test, infants in the two exposure groups had different preferences for novel sequences involving voiced and voiceless stops and fricatives, suggesting that each group had internalized a different familiarization alternation. In Experiment 2, 8.5-month-olds exhibited the same patterns of preference. In Experiments 3 and 4, we investigated whether infants' preferences were driven solely by preferences for sequences of high transitional probability. Although 8.5-month-olds in Experiment 3 were sensitive to the relative probabilities of sequences in the familiarization stimuli, only 12-month-olds in Experiment 4 showed evidence of having grouped alternating segments into a single functional category. Taken together, these results suggest a developmental trajectory for the acquisition of phonological alternations using distributional cues in the input.
Descriptors: Cues, Phonology, Infants, Probability, Child Development, Experiments, Age Differences, Language Acquisition
Elsevier. 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887-4800. Tel: 877-839-7126; Tel: 407-345-4020; Fax: 407-363-1354; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.elsevier.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A