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You sound like Mommy: Bilingual and monolingual infants learn words best from speakers typical of their language environments

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You sound like Mommy: Bilingual and monolingual infants learn words best from speakers typical of their language environments

Fennell, Christopher and Byers-Heinlein, Krista (2014) You sound like Mommy: Bilingual and monolingual infants learn words best from speakers typical of their language environments. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 38 (4). pp. 309-316.

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Abstract

Previous research indicates that monolingual infants have difficulty learning minimal pairs (i.e., words differing by one phoneme) produced by a speaker uncharacteristic of their language environment and that bilinguals might share this difficulty. To clearly reveal infants’ underlying phonological representations, we minimized task demands by embedding target words in naming phrases, using a fully crossed, between-subjects experimental design. We tested 17-month-old French-English bilinguals’ (N = 30) and English monolinguals’ (N = 31) learning of a minimal pair (/kƐm/ - /gƐm/) produced by an adult bilingual or monolingual. Infants learned the minimal pair only when the speaker matched their language environment. This vulnerability to subtle changes in word pronunciation reveals that neither monolingual nor bilingual 17-month-olds possess fully generalizable phonological representations.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Authors:Fennell, Christopher and Byers-Heinlein, Krista
Journal or Publication:International Journal of Behavioral Development
Date:2014
ID Code:980268
Deposited By: KRISTA BYERS HEINLEIN
Deposited On:17 Aug 2015 15:29
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:51
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