15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)
This study investigated infants' use of subphonemic cues to speaker
intent to segment potentially ambiguous utterances (when all other
cues to word boundaries are held constant). In Experiment 1, the HPP
was used to familiarize English-learning 12-month-olds to one passage
containing a S#WS target (e.g. "rue#bequest"), and one passage containing
a SW#S target (e.g. "dogma#lines"). Subsequently, infants' were
tested on lists of three types of stimuli: intended ("dogma" if familiarized
with "dogma#lines"), unintended ("ruby" if familiarized with
and unfamiliar ("gumbo" if familiarized with "dogma#lines" and
"rue#bequest"). Twelve-month-olds oriented significantly longer
to intended words than unintended or unfamiliar words, demonstrating
their use of subphonemic cues. Experiment 2 differed from Experiment
1 in only one respect: infants were tested on the weak-strong (WS)
portion of the strings ("bequest" from "rue#bequest"/ "ruby#quest").
In this case, 12-month-olds showed weak evidence of segmenting any words, intended or not. Possible explanations for these results are discussed.
Bibliographic reference. Johnson, Elizabeth K. (2003): "Speaker intent influences infants' segmentation of potentially ambiguous utterances", In ICPhS-15, 1995-1998.