Document Detail

Phonetic learning in utero.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20331146     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
The prevailing view is that newborn phonetic perception is tabula rasa because of poor transmission of the acoustic features of phonemes to the fetus. However, vowel information may be at least intermittently clear in utero. We tested 80 neonates (M = 32.8 h old, range 7-75) in the US and Sweden with English and Swedish vowels using an infant-controlled sucking procedure. Sucking activated 1 of 17 stimuli (a prototype and 16 variants) from the same vowel category, either the English i or the Swedish y. Infants sampled through all 17 stimuli, presented randomly, one time. The dependent measure was mean number of sucks per stimulus. Results showed that the Foreign Vowel Group had significantly greater means to the prototype than the Native Group. A within-group analysis showed another Foreign-Native Group difference. Infants in the Foreign Group had significantly more sucks to the prototype compared to the variants, whereas the Native Group treated the prototype and variants equivalently. These results require us to re-evaluate assumptions about availability of speech sounds to the fetus and the state of speech perception at birth.
Christine Moon; Hugo Lagercrantz; Patrica K Kuhl
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America     Volume:  127     ISSN:  1520-8524     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Acoust. Soc. Am.     Publication Date:  2010 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-03-24     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7503051     Medline TA:  J Acoust Soc Am     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2017     Citation Subset:  IM    
Dept. of Psych., Pacific Lutheran Univ., Tacoma, WA 98447, mooncm@plu.eduNeonatology Unit, Karolinska Inst., Stockholm, SwedenInst. for Learning & Brain Sci., Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA.
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