How Long Do Infants Take To Learn A Word They Can Use In Segmentation?
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
AbstractThis study investigated the timeline for infants to learn a word that they can then use for segmentation of unfamiliar, iambic words. At 7.5-months, infants can use the stress pattern of their native language to segment words. As English is a primarily trochaic language, 7.5-month-olds can correctly segment trochaic words but will incorrectly segment iambic words. 7.5-month-olds can also use familiar words to determine word boundaries. Infants were exposed to a storybook containing the word “Lola” for two weeks followed by a week delay. After the delay, infants were exposed to sentences containing phrases with Lola followed by an iambic word. Infants were tested on iambic words that they had both heard and not heard during familiarization. The majority of infants showed a statistically non-significant novelty preference, listening longer to iambic words that has not been present during familiarization. I suggest that this could be due to greater interest in the novel stimuli or a failure to fully encode the familiar, iambic words.