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Zoekopdracht: faculteit: "FGw" en publicatiejaar: "2011"

AuteursT. Benders, D. Mandell
TitelThe integration of acoustic dimension in infants' phoneme perception: Introducing and testing a categorization paradigm
PlaatsMontreal, Canada
FaculteitFaculteit der Geesteswetenschappen
Instituut/afd.FGw: Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC)
SamenvattingAdult speech perception tasks often require listeners to make categorization judgments on individual sounds. In such a task, adult native speakers of Dutch are more sensitive to vowel spectrum than to vowel duration when categorizing vowels as Dutch / / (a mid-back, short vowel) and /a/ (a mid-front, long vowel) (Escudero, Benders, & Lipski, 2009). Preverbal Dutch infants seem to be more sensitive to the durational than the spectral difference in a speech discrimination task (Benders & Escudero, submitted), and Dutch 18-month olds use this durational difference to discriminate between words (Dietrich, Swingley, & Werker, 2007). These results show that infants can use a single acoustic dimension to discriminate a phonemic contrast that is signaled by multiple dimensions and this is not necessarily the dimension adults prefer. To understand the formation of phoneme categories, we thus need to know when and how infants integrate acoustic dimensions. This requires a 2-alternative forced choice categorization task, as is used with adults, that can ideally be applied to study both speech perception and word recognition. The present study aims to introduce an eye-tracking paradigm that meets these criteria and to test 40 Dutch 9- and 15-month-olds on their categorization of the / /-/a / contrast. At the beginning of each trial, infants are shown two identical objects in the center of a screen. The objects flash and then move away from each other horizontally. On learning trials, the objects stop at 2/3 rd of the way across the screen, then one of the objects flashes again while the other disappears. A sound is played contingent with the initial flashing, twice during the movement, and for the fourth time when one object flashes again. On test and generalization trials, the objects do not stop, but continue moving off the screen while the fourth sound is playing. On learning trials, infants learn to associate the sounds /s k/ and /sa k/ with the two opposite sides of the screen. On test trials, this association is tested. On generalization trials, the words /s k/ and /sak/ are played to test infants’ sensitivity to vowel spectrum and duration. See the figure for an illustration. Infants are presented with 8 learning trials and then with 12 trials where learning, test and generalization trials are presented randomly. Preliminary data with 9-month olds show that they correctly predict the side of the flashing object when they hear /s k/ or /sa k/. Additionally, 9-month olds categorize the new sounds, /s k/ and /sak/, based on duration and not spectral information: Infants tracked the /s k/ sound to the /a / side 82% of their tracking and the /sak/ sound to the /s k/ side 86% of the time. With this paradigm, we will investigate to what extent Dutch 9-month-olds are sensitive to spectral information on top of durational information and how this develops into the second year of life. Moreover, presenting two different novel objects moving across the screen will allow us test word recognition in this paradigm. From this we will learn when and how infants integrate acoustic dimensions in phoneme perception.
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