ORCID

Abstract

While adult studies show that consonants are more important than vowels in lexical processing tasks, the developmental trajectory of this consonant bias varies cross-linguistically. This study tested whether British English-learning 11-month-old infants’ recognition of familiar word forms is more reliant on consonants than vowels, as found by Poltrock and Nazzi (2015) in French. After establishing that infants prefer listening to a list of familiar words over pseudowords (Experiment 1), Experiment 2 examined preference for consonant versus vowel mispronunciations of these words. Infants listened to both alterations equally. In Experiment 3, using a simplified version of the task with one familiar word only (‘mummy’), infants’ preference for its correct pronunciation over a consonant or a vowel change confirmed an equal sensitivity to both alterations. British English-learning infants’ word form recognition appears to be equally impacted by consonant and vowel information, providing further evidence that initial lexical processes vary cross-linguistically.

DOI

10.1017/S0305000923000223

Publication Date

2023-06-13

Publication Title

Journal of Child Language

First Page

1

Last Page

24

ISSN

0305-0009

Embargo Period

2023-07-20

Organisational Unit

School of Psychology

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