This is a commentary on Vouloumanos and Werker (2007).
Constructing adequate non-speech analogues: what is special about speech anyway?
Article first published online: 31 JAN 2007
© 2007 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Volume 10, Issue 2, pages 165–168, March 2007
How to Cite
Rosen, S. and Iverson, P. (2007), Constructing adequate non-speech analogues: what is special about speech anyway?. Developmental Science, 10: 165–168. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2007.00550.x
- Issue published online: 31 JAN 2007
- Article first published online: 31 JAN 2007
Vouloumanos and Werker (2007) claim that human neonates have a (possibly innate) bias to listen to speech based on a preference for natural speech utterances over sine-wave analogues. We argue that this bias more likely arises from the strikingly different saliency of voice melody in the two kinds of sounds, a bias that has already been shown to be learned pre-natally. Possible avenues of research to address this crucial issue are proposed, based on a consideration of the distinctive acoustic properties of speech.