The robustness of infants' early word representations
Keywords:Infant-directed speech, Word recognition, Word representations
AbstractA study was conducted to investigate the way infants started recognizing acoustically distinct realizations of words before developing mental lexicon. The study also investigated the possibility earlier studies underestimating infants' early word recognition abilities. It was proposed that presenting infants with brief exposure to disembodied unfamiliar voices producing words was not an ecologically valid measure of their capabilities. Twenty-four mothers and fathers were audio-taped, as their infants participated in the study. Mothers recorded two six-sentence passage in infant-directed speech that contained a target word occurring in every sentence. Investigations revealed that 7.5-month infants recognized familiarized words across speakers of different genders without facing problems with these words being presented in familiar or unfamiliar voices.
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