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ERIC Number: EJ835631
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Pages: 31
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0305-0009
Fillers as Signs of Distributional Learning
Taelman, Helena; Durieux, Gert; Gillis, Steven
Journal of Child Language, v36 n2 p323-353 Mar 2009
A longitudinal analysis is presented of the fillers of a Dutch-speaking child between 1;10 and 2;7. Our analysis corroborates familiar regularities reported in the literature: most fillers resemble articles in shape and distribution, and are affected by rhythmic and positional constraints. A novel finding is the impact of the lexical environment: particular function words act as "anchor" words that attract occurrences of schwa fillers after them. The child inserts significantly more schwa fillers in these contexts. The anchor words are among the most frequent words preceding articles in the input, indicating a sharp sensitivity to such distributional regularities. Nasal fillers too are affected by distributional learning, but at the phonological level: the child first uses nasals before [h]-initial nouns, and then generalizes this usage to all [h]-initial words. These observations are related to the growing body of evidence for the impact of distributional learning on early language production.
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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