NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ856741
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 38
ISSN: ISSN-1525-0008
Better Processing of Consonantal over Vocalic Information in Word Learning at 16 Months of Age
Havy, Melanie; Nazzi, Thierry
Infancy, v14 n4 p439-456 2009
Previous research using the name-based categorization task has shown that 20-month-old infants can simultaneously learn 2 words that only differ by 1 consonantal feature but fail to do so when the words only differ by 1 vocalic feature. This asymmetry was taken as evidence for the proposal that consonants are more important than vowels at the lexical level. This study explores this consonant-vowel asymmetry in 16-month-old infants, using an interactive word learning task. It shows that the pattern of the 16-month-olds is the same as that of the 20-month-olds. Infants succeeded with 1-feature consonantal contrasts (either place or voicing) but were at chance level with 1-feature vocalic contrasts (either place or height). These results thus contribute to a growing body of evidence establishing, from early infancy to adulthood, that consonants and vowels have different roles in lexical acquisition and processing. (Contains 3 figures, 1 table and 1 footnote.)
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
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