British English infants segment words only with exaggerated infant-directed speech stimuli.
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The word segmentation paradigm originally designed by Jusczyk and Aslin (1995) has been widely used to examine how infants from the age of 7.5 months can extract novel words from continuous speech. Here we report a series of 13 studies conducted independently in two British laboratories, showing that British English-learning infants aged 8-10.5 months fail to show evidence of word segmentation when tested in this paradigm. In only one study did we find evidence of word segmentation at 10.5 months, when we used an exaggerated infant-directed speech style. We discuss the impact of variations in infant-directed style within and across languages in the course of language acquisition.
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