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ERIC Number: EJ919247
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 81
ISSN: ISSN-0023-8309
Acoustic Markers of Prominence Influence Infants' and Adults' Segmentation of Speech Sequences
Bion, Ricardo A. H.; Benavides-Varela, Silvia; Nespor, Marina
Language and Speech, v54 n1 p123-140 Mar 2011
Two experiments investigated the way acoustic markers of prominence influence the grouping of speech sequences by adults and 7-month-old infants. In the first experiment, adults were familiarized with and asked to memorize sequences of adjacent syllables that alternated in either pitch or duration. During the test phase, participants heard pairs of syllables with constant pitch and duration and were asked whether the syllables had appeared adjacently during familiarization. Adults were better at remembering pairs of syllables that during familiarization had short syllables preceding long syllables, or high-pitched syllables preceding low-pitched syllables. In the second experiment, infants were familiarized and tested with similar stimuli as in the first experiment, and their preference for pairs of syllables was accessed using the head-turn preference paradigm. When familiarized with syllables alternating in pitch, infants showed a preference to listen to pairs of syllables that had high pitch in the first syllable. However, no preference was found when the familiarization stream alternated in duration. It is proposed that these perceptual biases help infants and adults find linguistic units in the continuous speech stream. While the bias for grouping based on pitch appears early in development, biases for durational grouping might rely on more extensive linguistic experience. (Contains 3 figures and 1 note.)
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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