Study your flashcards anywhere!

Download the official Cram app for free >

  • Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off

How to study your flashcards.

Right/Left arrow keys: Navigate between flashcards.right arrow keyleft arrow key

Up/Down arrow keys: Flip the card between the front and back.down keyup key

H key: Show hint (3rd side).h key

A key: Read text to speech.a key


Play button


Play button




Click to flip

9 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

Liberman et al. (1967)

Are human infants specialized for speech?

Participants ability to categorise sounds was checked by giving them synthesized versions that differed by small increments over a continuum of b to p.

People did impose discrete categories on this acoustic continuum of what identified as either a b or a p.

This categorical perception of sounds allows speakers to ignore all kinds of small variations in pronunciation as well as variations due to the phonetic surroundings provided by other sounds.

As in adults, sounds are ‘grouped’ into broad categories therefore reducing the problem of invariance to some degree.

Infants display categorical perception from a YOUNG AGE - strongly suggests that human infants are specialized in some way for the perception of speech

Eimas et al. (1971)

/pa/ and /ba/


Infants display categorical perception of /pa/ - /ba/ from one month of age

Eimas et al. (1974)

place of articulation


Studies also indicate that some distinctions can be made at birth

Jusczyk (1997)

hearing system


other species display categorical perception and that this skill is not language specific

indicates that categorical perception is a feature of the hearing system, not on any specialization in humans just for the processing of speech sounds.

Saffran et al. (1996)

words and part-words

PATTERN IDENTIFICATION - recognise trisyllabic words

Artificial language made up of a stream of three-syllable nonsense words

compared the infants response to words vs. part-words (sequence that crosses a word boundary)

Infants recognised the words (bidaku, golabu) but not non-words (e.g. dakupa).

Reliably discriminate words from part-words

even after brief exposure, a child can segment continuous speech based on the transitional probabilities of constituent syllable pairs.

Infants also display strong sensitivity to recurring patterns of speech sounds by 8 months of age

Werker and Tees (1984)

Development Pattern - reorganization in perceptual biases

Canadian infants from English-speaking households were tested on their ability to discriminate three contrats

1) English place of articulation contrast of /ba/ and /ga/

2) Hindi retroflex vs. dental stop contrast in /ta/ and /ta/

6-8 months can perceive contrasts between native and non-native phonetic segments
(as adults we no longer hear these)

10-12 months infants can only discriminate contrast from their target language (the language that they have been exposed to)

eg. English-speaking infants/ba/ /ga/ = fine but /ta/ /ta/ (Hindi) = not identified

infants skills gradually of phonetic contrast are becoming LANGUAGE SPECIFIC

perceptual reorganization in perceptual biases

Jusczyk et al. (1993)

Word Stress

Majority of English words place stress on the FIRST syllable

Looks at US English-speaking infants

Do they listen longer to sequences with a strong-weak stress pattern or to sequences with a weak-strong stress pattern?

Preferences for a strong-weak pattern can help with identification of those sound sequences from words

6 months = no preference

9 months = listened longer/preference to strong-weak stress patterns, more exposure to the input

Preference for sound sequences increases as of the exposure to the input INCREASES

Swingley & Aslin (2002)

Storing Words

by 11 months infants treat words with mispronounced onsets in the same way as non-words

Indicates that infants are storing words with a considerable amount of phonetic detail.

Berko & Brown (1960)

Fis' Phenomenon

mismatch between children’s production of lexical items and their representation in the lexicon/memory.

young children’s representation and perception of word forms does not always mirror their production

child’s representation of the word is closer to the target (adult-version), due to how the representation is based on the adults production of words, than their own reproduction of the item.

EVIDENCE: that children from a young age store target-like representations of lexical items and fine-grained representations as the child gets older as of discriminations between contrasts in their language