The effects of consonantal specificity, articulatory phonetics and prosody in young infants’ lexical acquisition
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The present study was designed to investigate the role of consonants within word-initial consonantal contrasts, articulatory phonetics (involving place of articulation and voicing features) and prosody in young infants’ lexical acquisition. The participants were twenty-four 25-month-old infants, who were recruited from the Babylab database at The University of Plymouth. All children participated in a modified name-categorisation task and the actual experiment involved the use of eight disyllable paired pseudowords. The results found that this age group were unable to learn phonetically similar pseudowords that had a consonantal contrast and were unable to distinguish between word-initial contrasts that used articulatory phonetic features. However, the present study did find that this age group were sensitive to prosody changes when learning new words.
Farley, V. (2010) 'The effects of consonantal specificity, articulatory phonetics and prosody in young infants’ lexical acquisition', The Plymouth Student Scientist, p. 86-106.