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ERIC Number: EJ902339
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0965
Word Learning and Phonetic Processing in Preschool-Age Children
Havy, Melanie; Bertoncini, Josiane; Nazzi, Thierry
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, v108 n1 p25-43 Jan 2011
Consonants and vowels have been shown to play different relative roles in different processes, including retrieving known words from pseudowords during adulthood or simultaneously learning two phonetically similar pseudowords during infancy or toddlerhood. The current study explores the extent to which French-speaking 3- to 5-year-olds exhibit a so-called "consonant bias" in a task simulating word acquisition, that is, when learning new words for unfamiliar objects. In Experiment 1, the to-be-learned words differed both by a consonant and a vowel (e.g., /byf/-/duf/), and children needed to choose which of the two objects to associate with a third one whose name differed from both objects by either a consonant or a vowel (e.g., /dyf/). In such a conflict condition, children needed to favor (or neglect) either consonant information or vowel information. The results show that only 3-year-olds preferentially chose the consonant identity, thereby neglecting the vowel change. The older children (and adults) did not exhibit any response bias. In Experiment 2, children needed to pick up one of two objects whose names differed on either consonant information or vowel information. Whereas 3-year-olds performed better with pairs of pseudowords contrasting on consonants, the pattern of asymmetry was reversed in 4-year-olds, and 5-year-olds did not exhibit any significant response bias. Interestingly, girls showed overall better performance and exhibited earlier changes in performance than boys. The changes in consonant/vowel asymmetry in preschoolers are discussed in relation with developments in linguistic (lexical and morphosyntactic) and cognitive processing. (Contains 3 figures and 6 tables.)
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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