Infants' recognition of fully specified and partially masked words - An ecological view on general mechanisms of early language acquisition  

Lacerda, F., Klintfors, E., Marklund, E., Ekman-Brandt, S.*, Eklund, M.*, Molde, C.*, Sjöberg, M.* & Sundberg, U.

*Logopedprogrammet, Karolinska institutet

In the Proceedings of the ISCA Workshop on Plasticity in Speech Perception - PSP 2005, London, June 15-17 2005: pages.


Infants at the ages between 11 and 16 months were tested in their ability to recognize words in short sentences given full and partial phonetic information. Four pictures of toys were shown on a video-screen as the infants' eye-movements were registered by an eye-tracker system. Two of the target words were masked in noise, either after the first or the second phoneme. The results show that the intact target words attracted the infants gaze quicker and longer than the partially masked words. The infants showed a tendency to eye-fixation after app. 1000 ms for the words masked after the second phoneme. Infants may not be able to decode partial words until after 1 years of age.

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