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June 2022

Newborn infants' sensitivity to perceptual cues to lexical and grammatical words

Author(s): Werker, J. F., Morgan, J. L.

Journal/Book: Cognition. 1999; 72: PO Box 211, 1000 AE Amsterdam, Netherlands. Elsevier Science Bv. B11-B21.

Abstract: In our study newborn infants were presented with lists of lexical and grammatical words prepared from natural maternal speech. The results show that newborns are able to categorically discriminate these sets of words based on a constellation of perceptual cues that distinguish them. This general ability to detect and categorically discriminate sets of words on the basis of multiple acoustic and phonological cues may provide a perceptual base that can help older infants bootstrap into the acquisition of grammatical categories and syntactic structure.

Note: Article Shi RS, Univ British Columbia, Sch Audiol & Speech Sci, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3, CANADA

Keyword(s): infancy; speech perception; syntactic categories; lexical and grammatical words; language acquisition; SPEECH-PERCEPTION; DISCRIMINATION; SOUND

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