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ERIC Number: EJ845209
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 54
ISSN: ISSN-0023-8309
Do 11-Month-Old French Infants Process Articles?
Halle, Pierre A.; Durand, Catherine; de Boysson-Bardies, Benedicte
Language and Speech, v51 n1-2 p23-44 2008
The first part of this study examined (Parisian) French-learning 11-month-old infants' recognition of the six definite and indefinite French articles: "le", "la", "les", "un", "une", and "des". The six articles were compared with pseudoarticles in the context of disyllabic or monosyllabic nouns, using the Head-turn Preference Procedure. The pseudo articles were similar to real articles in terms of phonetic composition and phonotactic probability, and real and pseudo noun phrases were alike in terms of overall prosodic contour. In three experiments, 11-month-old infants showed preference for real over pseudo articles, suggesting they have the articles' word-forms stored in long-term memory. The second part of the study evaluates several hypotheses about the role of articles in 11-month-olds infants' word recognition. Evidence from three experiments supports the view that articles help infants to recognize the following words. We propose that 11-month-olds have the capacity to parse noun phrases into their constituents, which is consistent with the more general view that function words define a syntactic skeleton that serves as a basis for parsing spoken utterances. This proposition is compared to a competing account, which argues that 11-month-olds recognize noun-phrases as whole-words. (Contains 1 figure, 1 table and 5 footnotes.)
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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
Identifiers - Location: France (Paris)