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ERIC Number: EJ863785
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 55
ISSN: ISSN-0023-8309
Phonetic Specificity in Early Lexical Acquisition: New Evidence from Consonants in Coda Positions
Nazzi, Thierry; Bertoncini, Josiane
Language and Speech, v52 n4 p463-480 2009
Use of precise consonantal information while learning new words has been established for onset consonants in previous studies, which showed that infants as young as 16 to 20 months of age can simultaneously learn two new words that differ only by a syllable-initial consonant (Havy & Nazzi, 2009; Nazzi, 2005; Nazzi & New, 2007; Werker, Fennell, Corcoran, & Stager, 2002). However, there is no systematic evidence to show whether specific phonetic information in other positions within the syllable can be used while learning new words. To the contrary, Nazzi (2005) found that when tested using the same task, 20-month-olds can learn two words that differ only by a consonant, but fail to do so if they differ only by a vowel, leaving open the possibility that specificity is limited to syllable-onset positions. Accordingly, the present study evaluated 20-month-olds' ability to learn two words that differ only by a consonant in either onset or coda position. Infants succeeded for both positions, ruling out the possibility that only syllable-onset positions are specified. This further suggests that the previously reported consonant/vowel asymmetry cannot be fully explained by syllable-onset positional effects. Additionally, the present study evaluated whether words following a predominant labial-coronal pattern would be easier to learn than less frequent coronal-labial words. It failed to obtain any such evidence. (Contains 2 figures, 2 tables, and 2 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