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ERIC Number: EJ860068
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 42
ISSN: ISSN-0096-1523
Children Discover the Spectral Skeletons in Their Native Language before the Amplitude Envelopes
Nittrouer, Susan; Lowenstein, Joanna H.; Packer, Robert R.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, v35 n4 p1245-1253 Aug 2009
Much of speech perception research has focused on brief spectro-temporal properties in the signal, but some studies have shown that adults can recover linguistic form when those properties are absent. In this experiment, 7-year-old English-speaking children demonstrated adultlike abilities to understand speech when only sine waves (SWs) replicating the 3 lowest resonances of the vocal tract were presented, but they failed to demonstrate comparable abilities when noise bands amplitude-modulated with envelopes derived from the same signals were presented. In contrast, adults who were not native English speakers but who were competent 2nd-language learners were worse at understanding both kinds of stimuli than native English-speaking adults. Results showed that children learn to extract linguistic form from signals that preserve some spectral structure, even if degraded, before they learn to do so for signals that preserve only amplitude structure. The authors hypothesize that children's early sensitivity to global spectral structure reflects the role that it may play in language learning. (Contains 3 tables and 3 figures.)
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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