Perceptual narrowing Young infants can perceive most language sounds at birth

Perceptual narrowing young infants can perceive most

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Perceptual narrowing •Young infants can perceive most language sounds at, birth, including non-native languages (citizens of the world). -Werker and Tee (1984): Tested three groups of babies (6-8 month; 8-10 month; 10-12 month). -Presented English infants with Hindi and Salish contrast. Is speech perceptual narrowing reversible? •Kuhl, Tsao and Liu (2003) -9 month American infants (English-speaking families). -One group exposed to native Mandarin speaker in 12 lab sessions. •Speakers read from books and played with toys. •Another group had similar sessions in English. Khul et al •Part 2: Same set-up but the Mandarin sessions were delivered by audiovisual or audio-only recording. •Comparison group: Looked at infants whose first language was Mandarin. Results •First diagram: Babies that spent time learning the other language could reverse the process. •Third diagram: If the baby heard the other language by audio or visual, they won’t be able to reverse the process Statistical learning •Infants keep track of frequent patterns in speech and use these to help distinguish word boundaries. -Probability: If syllables co-occur with high probability, they are likely words. EX: ha-py- ba-by. -Stress: Stressed syllable is likely either a word or the start of a multi-syllable word. Can infants track regularity in speech? •8 month old infants presented with 2 minute speech stream of 4 nonsense words from a speech synthesizer; continuous, monotone, no pauses, no intonation. •At test, presented with “words” and “non-words” using habituation paradigm. Saffran et al •Do they listen longer to words, nonwords, or no difference? -They listen longer to the nonwords since it is interesting to them, but after when you say the word they won’t give you a response. 16
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Summary: What do these studies show? •Perceptual narrowing for language sound perception. -After about 10-12 months, we become attuned to our native language, makes it harder to learn second language. •Statistics-tracking processes. -Young infants are highly sensitive to regularities and patterns in the environment. -A strong innate learning mechanism for infants to learn native language. Fast mapping of words •A naming explosion occurs about 18 months, when children begin learning 10 or more new words each week. •Fast mapping: Fact that children make connections between new words and referents so quickly that they can’t be considering all possible meanings. •A few skills that infants can use; -Mutual exclusivity. -Whole-object assumption. -Pragmatic cues: Joint attention. -Grammar cues: Sentence context. •After 2 yro they learn new words and things with the environment pretty easily and fast. •EX: introducing a kid 3 objects, the kid knows 2 of those objects and we will ask the kid what is … the random object and will automatically point to the object that the kid does not know instead of doubting itself. That way the kid will have learnt a new word for a new object.
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