Infants' ability to extract verbs from continuous speech  

Marklund, E., & Lacerda, F.

Contribution to the Ninth International Conference on Spoken Language Processing, Interpseech2006, ICSLP, September 2006: pp.

ABSTRACT

Early language acquisition is a result of the infant’s general associative and memory processes in combination with its’ ecological surroundings. Extracting a part of a continuous speech signal and associate it to for instance an object, is made possible by the structure provided by characteristically repetitive Infant Directed Speech. The parents adjust the way they speak to their infant based on the response they are given, which in turn is dependent on the infant’s age and cognitive development.

It seems probable that the ability to extract lexical candidates referring to visually presented actions is developed at a later stage than the ability to extract lexical candidates referring to visually presented objects – actions are more abstract and there is a time aspect involved.

Using the Visual Preference Paradigm, the ability to extract lexical candidates referring to actions was studied in infants at the age of 4 to 8 months. The results suggest that while the ability at this age is not greatly apparent, it seems to increase slightly with age.

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