If the outlier is reintroduced, the control condition remains nonsignificant (p = .35); however, the interaction fails to reach significance due to the increased variability (p = .096).
Object Familiarity Enhances Infants’ Use of Phonetic Detail in Novel Words
Version of Record online: 19 MAY 2011
Copyright © International Society on Infant Studies (ISIS)
Volume 17, Issue 3, pages 339–353, May/June 2012
How to Cite
Fennell, C. T. (2012), Object Familiarity Enhances Infants’ Use of Phonetic Detail in Novel Words. Infancy, 17: 339–353. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-7078.2011.00080.x
- Issue online: 6 APR 2012
- Version of Record online: 19 MAY 2011
Infants greatly refine their ability to discriminate language sounds by 12 months, yet 14-month-olds appear to confuse similar-sounding novel words. Two explanations could account for this phenomenon: infants initially have incomplete phoneme representations, suggesting developmental discontinuity; or word-learning demands interfere with use of established phonetic detail. These hypotheses were tested at 14 months by pairing a novel word with an object preexposed to half the infants and novel to the other half. If demands are key, only preexposed infants should efficiently use phonetic detail; there is no need to concurrently learn object details with the word. If representations lack detail, object familiarity should not matter. Only infants preexposed to the object noticed a change in its label, thus challenging the discontinuity position and demonstrating the impact of object familiarity on early word learning.