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ERIC Number: EJ905509
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 43
ISSN: ISSN-1525-0008
Developmental Changes in Infants' Ability to Cope with Dialect Variation in Word Recognition
Schmale, Rachel; Cristia, Alejandrina; Seidl, Amanda; Johnson, Elizabeth K.
Infancy, v15 n6 p650-662 Nov-Dec 2010
Toward the end of their first year of life, infants' overly specified word representations are thought to give way to more abstract ones, which helps them to better cope with variation not relevant to word identity (e.g., voice and affect). This developmental change may help infants process the ambient language more efficiently, thus enabling rapid gains in vocabulary growth. One particular kind of variability that infants must accommodate is that of dialectal accent, because most children will encounter speakers from different regions and backgrounds. In this study, we explored developmental changes in infants' ability to recognize words in continuous speech by familiarizing them with words spoken by a speaker of their own region (North Midland-American English) or a different region (Southern Ontario Canadian English), and testing them with passages spoken by a speaker of the opposite dialectal accent. Our results demonstrate that 12- but not 9-month-olds readily recognize words in the face of dialectal variation. (Contains 3 footnotes 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