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ERIC Number: EJ850193
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Mar
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 66
ISSN: ISSN-1363-755X
Infants Show a Facilitation Effect for Native Language Phonetic Perception between 6 and 12 Months
Kuhl, Patricia K.; Stevens, Erica; Hayashi, Akiko; Deguchi, Toshisada; Kiritani, Shigeru; Iverson, Paul
Developmental Science, v9 n2 pF13-F21 Mar 2006
Patterns of developmental change in phonetic perception are critical to theory development. Many previous studies document a decline in nonnative phonetic perception between 6 and 12 months of age. However, much less experimental attention has been paid to developmental change in native-language phonetic perception over the same time period. We hypothesized that language experience in the first year facilitates native-language phonetic performance between 6 and 12 months of age. We tested 6-8- and 10-12-month-old infants in the United States and Japan to examine native and nonnative patterns of developmental change using the American English /r-l/ contrast. The goals of the experiment were to: (a) determine whether facilitation characterizes native-language phonetic change between 6 and 12 months of age, (b) examine the decline previously observed for nonnative contrasts and (c) test directional asymmetries for consonants. The results show a significant increase in performance for the native-language contrast in the first year, a decline in nonnative perception over the same time period, and indicate directional asymmetries that are constant across age and culture. We argue that neural commitment to native-language phonetic properties explains the pattern of developmental change in the first year.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan; United States