Document Detail

Mapping novel labels to actions: How the rhythm of words guides infants' learning.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22446193     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
We investigated the effect of lexical stress on 16-month-olds' ability to form associations between labels and paths of motion. Disyllabic English nouns tend to have a strong-weak (trochaic) stress pattern, and verbs tend to have a weak-strong (iambic) pattern. We explored whether infants would use word stress information to guide word-action associations during learning. Infants heard two novel words with either verb-like iambic stress or noun-like trochaic stress. Each word was paired with a single novel object performing one of two path actions and was tested using path-switch trials. Only infants in the iambic stress condition learned the association between the novel words and the path actions. To further investigate infants' difficulty in mapping the trochaic labels to the actions, we conducted an additional study in which infants were given an object switch task using the trochaic labels. In this case, infants were able to associate the trochaic labels with the objects, providing further support that infants use lexical stress to guide label-referent associations. This study demonstrates that by 16months, English-learning infants have developed a bias to expect disyllabic action labels to have iambic stress patterns, consistent with native language stress patterns.
Suzanne Curtin; Jennifer Campbell; Dan Hufnagle
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-3-23
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of experimental child psychology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1096-0457     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-3-26     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  2985128R     Medline TA:  J Exp Child Psychol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Department of Psychology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4.
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