Letn í Škola Lingvistiky, Dačice 2008. Early speech development. Mits Ota University of Edinburgh firstname.lastname@example.org. Outline. Four basic questions about early speech development How do newborns perceive speech sounds?
Letní Škola Lingvistiky, Dačice 2008
University of Edinburgh
How do newborns perceive speech sounds?
We (= adults) perceive speech sounds as categories. Physically continuous acoustic differences are perceived as distinct groups of sounds.
A VOT continuum is perceived as if it contains distincts sets of sounds. We hear the difference only around the boundary.
% identified as /d/
High-amplitude sucking procedure
20 ↔ 40ms
40 ↔ 60ms
1-, 4-mos reaction to changes in VOT
(Eimas et al, 1971)
Part 2: processing?
When and how do infants learn meaningful sound differences in the native language?
Habituation phase Test phase
‘bih’ ‘dih’ ‘bih’ ‘dih’
English /b/ - /d/
Hindi /da/ - /a/
Child’s contrast in development Adult’s contrast
Part 3: processing?
When do infants learn sound combination patterns (phonotactics) in the native language?
Part 4: processing?
When and how do infants pick out words in a stream of speech?
When do children begin to extract words from speech?
“cup, cup, cup… cup”
“feet, feet, feet… feet”
“The cup was bright and shiny”
“A clown drank from the red cup” etc.
“The feet were all different sizes”
“The girl has very big feet” etc.
Within word cluster Between word cluster
nk > nmk
n k < nm k
Global prosodic pattern