Two experiments investigated the way acoustic markers of prominence influence the grouping of speech sequences by adults and 7-month-old infants. In the first experiment, adults were familiarized with and asked to memorize sequences of adjacent syllables that alternated in either pitch or duration. During the test phase, participants heard pairs of syllables with constant pitch and duration and were asked whether the syllables had appeared adjacently during familiarization. Adults were better at remembering pairs of syllables that during familiarization had short syllables preceding long syllables, or high-pitched syllables preceding low-pitched syllables. In the second experiment, infants were familiarized and tested with similar stimuli as in the first experiment, and their preference for pairs of syllables was accessed using the head-turn preference paradigm.When familiarized with syllables alternating in pitch, infants showed a preference to listen to pairs of syllables that had high pitch in the first syllable. However, no preference was found when the familiarization stream alternated in duration. It is proposed that these perceptual biases help infants and adults find linguistic units in the continuous speech stream.While the bias for grouping based on pitch appears early in development, biases for durational grouping might rely on more extensive linguistic experience.

Acoustic markers of prominence influence infants' and adults' segmentation of speech sequences

BENAVIDES VARELA, SILVIA ELENA;
2011

Abstract

Two experiments investigated the way acoustic markers of prominence influence the grouping of speech sequences by adults and 7-month-old infants. In the first experiment, adults were familiarized with and asked to memorize sequences of adjacent syllables that alternated in either pitch or duration. During the test phase, participants heard pairs of syllables with constant pitch and duration and were asked whether the syllables had appeared adjacently during familiarization. Adults were better at remembering pairs of syllables that during familiarization had short syllables preceding long syllables, or high-pitched syllables preceding low-pitched syllables. In the second experiment, infants were familiarized and tested with similar stimuli as in the first experiment, and their preference for pairs of syllables was accessed using the head-turn preference paradigm.When familiarized with syllables alternating in pitch, infants showed a preference to listen to pairs of syllables that had high pitch in the first syllable. However, no preference was found when the familiarization stream alternated in duration. It is proposed that these perceptual biases help infants and adults find linguistic units in the continuous speech stream.While the bias for grouping based on pitch appears early in development, biases for durational grouping might rely on more extensive linguistic experience.
2011
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3194686
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