This work was supported in part by NIMH Grant MH 48892 to J. Morgan. We thank John Mertus for providing technical and programming support and Nancy Allard, Lisa Baril-Micheletti, Shinina Butler, Yael Harlap, Eileen Hoff, Allison Klein, Amanda Lashaw, Kumiko Mitarai, Jennifer Stemple, and Stephanie Wank for assistance in testing subjects and coding videotapes. We also thank Catherine Best, Peter Eimas, and Janet Werker for helpful comments on previous drafts.
Emerging Integration of Sequential and Suprasegmental Information in Preverbal Speech Segmentation
Version of Record online: 28 JUN 2008
Volume 66, Issue 4, pages 911–936, August 1995
How to Cite
Morgan, J. L. and Saffran, J. R. (1995), Emerging Integration of Sequential and Suprasegmental Information in Preverbal Speech Segmentation. Child Development, 66: 911–936. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.1995.tb00913.x
- Issue online: 28 JUN 2008
- Version of Record online: 28 JUN 2008
5 studies examined contributions of syllable-ordering and rhythmic properties of syllable strings to 6- and 9-month-old infants' speech segmentation. A pair of methods measuring complementary properties of representational units was used: a noise detection task sensitive to perceived cohesiveness of pairs of syllables, and a discrimination maintenance task sensitive to compactness of representations of syllable pairs. For 9-month-olds, results show that a key pair of syllables was represented as a unit when the grouping of these syllables was supported by correlated regularities of ordering and rhythm in the set of stimulus strings, but not when such grouping was supported by only rhythmic or only syllable-ordering regularity. For 6-month-olds, results show that a key pair of syllables was represented as a unit whenever grouping was supported by rhythmic regularity in the stimulus strings, regardless of whether syllable-ordering regularity was also present. Thus, whereas 9-month-olds appear to be capable of integrating sequential and suprasegmental information in forming wordlike (multisyllabic) phonological percepts, 6-month-olds are not. The emergence of integrative abilities portends increased efficiency in speech processing and may contribute to the formation and use of an initial lexicon.