Assessing the yong infant's sensitivity to general phonotactic aspects  

Nina Svärd

Term paper in Phonetics Fall 2000
Department of Linguistics, Stockholm University  


The Swedish infant's sensitivity to general phonotactic aspects of Swedish and Portuguese was investigated.The experimental procedure was a version of "the Visual Preference Procedure". The infant's interest for different speech materials was measured, in two age groups, by the total looking time under different "language-conditions". The results suggest that younger infants are more dependent on the recognition of specific word items than on higher level phonotactic rules. The degree of Infant Directed Speech may also play an important role as an attention marker for the younger infant.

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